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« Vien Dong III Supermarket - Another Morning, Another Market | Main | Post #201 - Ba Ren...Again »

Monday, 16 January 2006


clare eats

It is pouring with rain in Sydney, and now I am hankering for Pho. ACK


I too am in "soup mode" these days. Have you ever been in a kitchen at a pho restaurant? I've always wondered how/where they cook all that broth. I can't imagine how many gallons they go through a day.


I have always wondered if the pho would be the same here in oz as over there in the US. My mission I think is to find out and compare!
When you say standard pho noodles, are they rice vermicelli like the one I see in your Dac Biet? In Aus, good fresh pho noodles are very slippery and smooth, and like hor fun but thinner in width (about 1/4 inch). When fresh, they slide down your throat accompanied by the beefy broth. *Drool* I am missing it so much! The combination soups are often with beef balls and the tendonous areas are sliced very thin like the raw beef that is par cooked by the time it reaches your table.
Sadly, over here in Aus, a good bowl of pho is fast reaching about $8 or 9 dollars for the standard size. But pho hits the spot sometimes like nothing else can, hence, I am still shelling that out sometimes for yummy pho :)


Hello Kirk!

The Goi Cuon looks really nice, how's the sauce?


I think the pho noodles we get here are not the same as the ones used in Vietnam. I wonder why that is?


Hi Clare - Hope it clears up soon & you get your bowl.

Hey Jack - I've "peaked" into the kitchen at Phuong Trang - and there were huge cauldron sized pots on the stoves.

Hi Rachel - Yes, those noodles are about standard, though some are a bit wider.

Hi thess - The sauce was just ok? I like mine a bit thicker.

Hi Jo - I'm pretty sure the noodles are different as well; but I haven't a clue as to why.


I am drooling as I stare at the pictures. When I was first introduced to pho it was served with flat noodles, but then again it was at a friends house. It is rare to run across the flat noodle pho. There are places here that serve it, but most serve the rice sticks (spaghetti like noodles).

Speaking of the Bun Bo Hue, the first time I tried it with the congealed blood. I could not eat it, but luckily a friend and I switched dishes. Whenever I order the dish I have to ask for no blood. *shudder* Funny enough I can eat Korean Blood sausages though...Hmmm


Pho Ca Dao on El Cajon Blvd always gives you the ngo gai leaves.
I've always wondered what they were--I like them.


Ahh soup! Like everyone's said, this is prime soup weather.

Excellent pics and review Kirk!


Oh my! Blood in the soup? And yeah, it does look spicy!! I get extra mild myself. ;) The spring rolls look delish with the orange/pink coming out from the shrimps housed within...yum!


Hi, Kirk and all!

Pho Hoa Hiep has become my "go to" place for pho. The thing I like the most about it is that the consistency of the meat in the pho is almost always very tender. It seems like one drawback to a lot of pho places is the meat is tough and rubbery. I actually remember one place where I tugged so hard at the pork foot that I lost my grip and it flew across the table. You don't have to worry about that sort of thing at Pho Hoa Hiep.

That's kind of strange that they served lemon with the pho. It's always been lime when I go there, maybe there was a lime shortage that day?

Yet again, your post has made me hungry. Maybe I'll grab some pho...


Hi Mills - I really don't care for the taste and texture of blood in the state that it is served, so it's just a personal preference.

Hi Jenne - Haven't been to Ca Dao on ECB, everytime I passed there people waiting outside. Hopefully, I'll be able to eat there soon. Ngo Gai is quite rare in San Diego.

Hi Elmo - Thanks! It really is soup weather.

Hi Kristy - The Bun Bo Hue wasn't really all that spicy, at least for me. The piece of pork shank in the Bun Bo Hue was really good. I don't care for blood in this dish either.

Hi Howie - Funny thing, during two previous visits(forgot my camera) I got lime with my Pho' so I don't know what happened. I enjoy all of the meat with the Pho' except the rare steak, which I find really tough, at least the two times I had in the Pho'. I do think the tendon and tripe are good. I've put Pho Hoa Hiep in as my breakfast Pho' restaurant, I like the lighter, yet tasty broth for breakfast.


Hi Kirk,

You know, I really love a good bowl of pho, especially when it rains. It's funny because I didn't really care for it much years ago.

That said, the next time you come "home" to visit, you really must visit Pho 97. It's my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the islands. I'd be interested in hearing how it compares to some of the places there.


Hi Reid - I'll make sure to add Pho' 97 to my ever growing list.


Try Ca Dao, I really like it the best of any pho restaurants I've tried here, but then again it was the first place I ever had it so I could be biased.

I also really like their egg rolls served with lettuce and mint, SO GOOD, and also their garnishes are always perfectly fresh and crisp.

The World Market behind it is a great place to get really good cheap seafood and produce, and one of the few places in SD that sells chicory coffee.

By the way, I love this blog; you must live near me because we go to a lot of the same places.


Hi Jenne - I'll put Ca Dao on my list; I'll have to go a bit early because every time I've tried to go there it's been busy. Thanks again for your comments and recommendations!


As a fellow Pho-whore, I have also toured San Diego and much of the L.A. area in search of the perfect bowl of Pho. Your reviews are well-written, entertaining and pretty much right on. There are two Pho spots in San Diego you haven't mentioned: Pho Pasteur off of Mesa College and the 163, and Pho Saigon, East of 15 on ECB (past Pho van).

If you ever make it up to L.A., you must try Pho Hong Long on Crenshaw Blvd, 2 miles East of 405 (right by El Camino College) To my taste, it is the best Pho I have ever had.

Keep up the good work in your quest for Fantastic Pho.


Hi Shadd - Welcome and thanks for the kind words. I've been to both places; I'm not a big fan of the Pho or Bun Bo Hue at Saigon....the Pho is especially not to my much star anise. I haven't been to Pho Pasteur in quite a while...last time I went there, Pho Tau Bay was still there.


I agree about Saigon - not the best Pho. Pasteur is OK, but the quantites of noodles and meat was lacking.

I have now returned as a regular to my very first Pho experience - Pho Hoa Hiep. The place has really grown up since I first ate there in 2003. I now eat there about twice a week as everything I have tried there is very good. My picky roommate even requests it.
Pho on.


OK, now I'm feeling like a reporter of restaurants coming and going! The Pho Hoa Hiep on Mira Mesa Blvd is no longer there; it's been replaced by a kabob restaurant.

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