Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pho at Thai House - Mount Vernon, WA


The weather turned today. It was cool and very rainy. On the way home I stopped downtown at the Thai House to have a bowl of pho. Of course, pho is a Vietnamese soup, not Thai. I've had their version quite a few times. It's not 100% authentic but it's pretty good and it's the only pho in Mount Vernon (perhaps Skagit County).
Here's a site to learn how to pronounce the word pho. It doesn't rhyme with hoe.

A bowl of pho at Thai House is $8.99. This is a bit more expensive than most pho restaurants. I eat at Pho 99 in Bellingham and their large is $2 or 3$ dollars less.
The lunch specials are a good value. I come here with co-workers every so often. I usually order the phad thai if I'm not getting the pho. My boss and the purchasing manager like the green papaya salad.






The first thing to show up at the table is a plate with Thai basil, jalapeno rings, bean sprouts and a lime wedges. These are all meant to be added to the soup to suit your preference. I always put in the basil and lime juice. Not so much with the bean sprouts and jalapeno.
The sauces are hoisen and sriracha red chili. They are also meant to be added to the broth.


And then the soup shows up. It's a piping hot beef broth with rice noodles, slices of rare beef and garnished with cilantro and sliced green onions.
The broth is seasoned with various spices. The one time I made this with a Vietnamese friend, I remember that we used star anise and ginger that had been charred on a stove top burner.
Add the basil, lime, sprouts, sauces and jalapeno and dig in.

Instead of putting the sauces in the soup, I learned a custom from a northern Viet student who had learned the custom in turn from southern Viet students. I mix the sauces on a plate and dip the meat in it.
In a pho restaurant, the slices of eye of round are just one of the choices. I usually get a combination that includes round steak, tendon, tripe and then some fatty, well cooked beef.

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