Un-Pho-Forgettable Food at Pho 75
Published: Friday, October 28, 2011
Updated: Friday, October 28, 2011 02:10
As the season gives way to chilly weather, the search is on for some comfort food to satisfy our tummies on a cold day. This, combined with my desperate craving for some decent Asian food, was more than enough to convince me to pay a visit to Pho 75. Located 10 minutes from the Rosslyn metro stop, this well-reviewed restaurant is worth the walk.
Upon entering the restaurant, there was already a line through the first set of doors — definitely a good sign. There was a natural bustle in the restaurant as busy servers carried pho from the kitchen four bowls at a time. Even with the line, we were seated within ten minutes, so the wait was not bad even during Pho 75's peak hours With groups of more than four, however, seating might be a bit of a challenge, consider arriving at a more unconventional time if you are eating with a large group.
As we were brought to our seats, I couldn't help but hope that the environment did not reflect the food. Put simply, the decor is less than impressive and gives the restaurant a cafeteria-like vibe. I hoped the food would make up for the lack of attention to detail.
Due to the sheer volume of customers, you can tell that the staff is extremely familiar with Pho 75's business. They tend to try to pick up the pace, and new customers get particular attention. The menu is fairly simple with only options for pho noodle bowls, drinks and dessert. For those eager to enjoy a typical Vietnamese spring roll, one might be disappointed by their absence from the menu.
But, even with the restaurant's limited selection, noodles are what Pho 75 does best. During my visit, I ordered a Combination 13 regular-sized bowl with beef brisket, tendons, flank and eye-of-round steak. The combinations include noodles with various cuts of meat. The major protein is beef, so non-beef-eaters should be prepared for very limited options.
In almost no time, servers carried out steamy bowls of pho accompanied by additional plates of spices and bean sprouts for the soup. With just the right combination of softness and chewiness, the noodles were cooked to perfection. The amount of beef was just right for me, but it might be on the small side for meat lovers. The star of the pho show was definitely the aromatic, spiced broth. Made without MSG, it has a natural, satisfying taste and isn't too heavy.
Pho 75 offers some of the best pho that I have ever tasted, and the reasonable price of $6.95 for a regular bowl and $7.95 for a large bowl is nothing to complain about. For me, a regular bowl was perfect for my appetite. Since this may not be the same for everyone, ask your waiter or scope out the different bowl sizes before you order.
Though not all the aspects of Pho 75 are perfect, at the end of the day it delivers on what its customers want: a delicious, hot bowl of pho that satisfies their taste buds.