Last week I found myself back in Madison. I'd been lucky, none of my previous trips had taken place during winter. Unfortunately, this time I couldn't avoid a February trip. I'd usually drive from Chicago, but there was no way I'd be doing that this time around. Folks, finding out I'm from San Diego seemed to take pleasure in reminding me that I was "lucky" since they were having such a balmy winter, heck it was almost like summer.......weather only hitting the single digits during those rare nights. It was a lovely, summer like 29 degrees as I walked out of the hotel. In truth, in spite of the rain, snow flurries, light rain, and once hail, I never once had to use my gloves, so I guess I should count myself as lucky........
Being past eight, I ended up going to a restaurant about a mile from the hotel. I'd noticed it on my previous trips.
When I arrived, I kinda went, whoa......apparently Pho ain't cheap in Mad Town. The basic Pho Tai goes for $7.95. not quite sure about which beef choice would be best, I went with the Pho Dac Diet which went for $8.95.
While waiting for my bowl, I rationalized Pho in Madison. Well, beef is fairly abundant, so the Pho should be beefy. I'm thinking noodles, star anise, and some herbs would probably be harder to find and probably be a bit more expensive. My stream of thought was broken by the plate of herbs and bean sprouts arriving at my table.
My almost nine dollar bowl of Pho arrived soon after:
The broth was low oil, pretty cloudy, and was just mildly beefy. It also lacked any anise flavor and I ended up using almost all the basil. There was a fairly strong onion flavor and the broth, which didn't seem very salty did make me thirsty.
As for the meat, well, most of it was mediocre. As expected, there wasn't much tripe, and the tendon (described as "soft tendon" in the menu) wasn't particularly soft.
The noodles were prepared adequately, but the portion size was on the small side.
Well, now that I've done my Pho due diligence in Madison, I think I'll just move on to something else, unless anyone has a recommendation. Being under eight bucks might be nice as well.
Pho Nam Noodle House
610 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717