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Thursday, 22 May 2008

Comments

steamy kitchen

oh what I would do for a bowl of pho right now!

Carol

On a day like this, pho is the perfect thing. That Bun Cha Gio looks delicious (I've been on a bun kick lately). What are those green? things in the coconut pudding? It sounds very interesting.

nhbilly

With weather like this pho is good.

Cathy

Hi, SK! If I am not wanting to go out, I make "lazy pho" at home: I have cans of pho broth on hand...and always have dried rice sticks in the cupboard...basil is growing outside the door and I always have limes in the house...so, all I really need to buy is bean sprouts-and I have done without, depending on my need to satisfy an immediate craving. Of course, I also make "lazy banana splits": slice a banana top with whipped cream, maraschino cherries and maybe peanuts and chocolate sauce if I have them in the house.
Carol- the green stick things were jelly like- I am thinking something they put into the boba drinks, although the only addins listed are boba, almond jelly and lychee. the sticks had no flavor; just texture.
Yes, Bill, this is definitely soup weather. I love it more than being so hot you can't move. I can always put on more layers of clothes.

Roger

Woohoo! More Pho! Always fun to compare lots of restaurants. Great post as usual, Cathy.

Durn I have so many mmm-yoso entries to catch up on...

Cathy

Thanks, Roger. I hope finals went well and you are just reading up on Kirk's vacation and wondering what to do for dinner tonight. It is interesting having an inexpensive pho restaurant in East County. The *one* that was in El Cajon recently was sold.

Sher

You're right about this place! The pho was delicious and the service was great. The staff was friendly and helpful and they seemed to enjoy having customers (some restaurants don't seem too happy when you eat there!).

Try this eatery. You'll be glad you did. It's the best pho in San Diego.

Cathy

Hi, Sher...I only write about what I ate and if I liked the food and the place. Glad you agree. This is a great restaurant with very fresh food and it's in East County-with a great parking lot...so very unusual. Seems to be family run, and the family takes pride in turning out quality food.

Omar

Cathy and Sher:

I'm glad you enjoyed your meal at Pho Superbowl. As I've said, we like what we like, and I'm happy when anyone gets a meal that pleases them.

I tried Pho Superbowl a couple of times last week. The second visit was to make sure that the first one wasn't representative. Their pho wasn't bad; it was only barely even pho. It was rich beef stock with rice noodles. Not like any pho I ever ate, anywhere.

Because the staff were nice and the place is close to my home, I had a chat with the owner, hoping some feedback might influence his approach.

To my observation that the soup seemed to be plain beef bouillon and noodles presented with condiments, that it was missing all the flavors that make pho special, the owner replied - and I am NOT making this up - that he'd done a lot of research and that "fresh" and "healthy", not authentic, were what would make his business successful.

He proudly announced that he intentionally uses almost imperceptable amounts of the cinnamon, star anise and other ingredients that one expects to find in even an average bowl of pho. He thought that maybe some older Vietnamese folks might be disappointed, but that was a risk he seemed willing to take. He didn't explain why there was so little beef in my beef noodle soup.

Maybe he's onto something; perhaps he'll create the "Chicken Pie Shop" of the pho world, successfully offering bland food to people who don't mind.

Too bad for me, though. I'd have liked going out for pho so close to home. I guess it's back to Saigon Star (that Pho Express in the Von's shopping center on Mission Gorge Road is another disappointment) until something closer/better comes along.

Cordially,

Cathy

Actually, I did say the broth was deep flavored and not too oily with fresh flavors, Omar. I didn't mention anise nor spices in the broth, although did not say they were missing. The amount of meat in the small bowl was enough, as was the meat in the cha gio. The food here will do in a pinch as it is fresh and is not overpriced. It happens to be about the same distance to Saigon Star as it is to SuperBowl for me and I still find myself at Lucky Seafood for pho more than any other restaurant. That Pho Express is kind of strange, I agree. One of us could make an amusing post about it. Oh, and I like the Chicken Pie Shop. Sometimes I crave it. The cole slaw there is the best.

Omar

Thanks for your reply, Cathy.

Actually, I wasn't correcting you, and I'm sorry you felt you needed to defend your report. Your observations were from May; mine were from last week; thus, my comments weren't so much directed towards your writing as they were intended to update your info and to warn people about what Superbowl had become.

As for the Chicken Pie Shop, I like it too, for almost exactly the same reason I like vanilla ice cream without toppings.

Off to New Orleans tomorrow. It's crab/shrimp season, and I'm hungry. I may get inspired and post when I return.

Best regards,

Cathy

I was saying that SuperBowl has not changed, Omar. Perhaps I am too subtle in not saying the food is inauthentic or nice in my writing in saying the food is acceptable. I definitely tell people when I have had bad food (Eat At Joe's-if you dare- is a good example of a post of that type). I don't defend any of my bloggings, I write about what I ate, but I guess maybe need to make some stuff more clear. Always learning. This blog is an excellent exercise for me. Enjoy your trip. Take pictures. Write a post. You have the password.{Vanilla is my favorite also.}

Omar

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your good wishes. Thanks for your regular posts. Go Tigers.

Best,

Hannah

I have lately been trying all sorts of new food, as I got lucky- finally got a job! My family dislikes eating much of anything besides hamburgers, so I use your blog as a sort of bible for fun food. I went here as its super close by- I had never thought of eating there though. It was so good! I got the Rare Steak soup, which was good but I thought the meat was too... cooked!? I also got the appetizer of beef patty rolls, which had the freshest tasting ingredients. So good. I love boba milk tea so I ordered the thai tea... AMAZING! I can't wait to go back and get more! I will try the Bun Cha Gio next time!!

Cathy

Hi, Hannah- So glad to hear you use the blog for a reference and stopped in here because of it. With the pho tai- the broth is hot and cooks the meat quickly. You can pull the slices of beef to the top of the broth as soon as the bowl is placed in front of you, or dump the bean sprouts into the broth as soon as it is placed in front of you to cool it down and stop the cooking...or you could ask the meat be brought out raw, on the side and then whisk it through the broth to cook quickly.

Mechele

Hi Cathy, I stopped by Pho Superbowl for lunch today and really enjoyed it. I got the Bun Cha Gio. The noodles were perfect, no clumping, and the veggies were really fresh, not one wilted lettuce or bean sprout. The egg rolls were hot and crispy. I thought the ratio of lettuce to noodle was really perfect with a little more lettuce than noodle. I also had the hand shaken black iced tea, delicious! Most of all, I was happy with the service and location. It's nice having a friendly place nearby whenever the craving hits, which is A LOT being pregnant! Thanks for the recommendation.

Cathy

Oh- and it's close by, Mechele? Perfect! I do think the freshness of the food here is impressive. The owners take great pride in serving the meals-and beverages- here.

Amie

Ohhh but do they deliver?!??? I could go for some now, and they make killer thai tea!!

Cathy

Welcome to our blog, Amie. I don't know any pho places that deliver, including Pho Superbowl, but almost always see people picking up "to go" orders at all pho restaurants. All the beverages here are really good.

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