Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You'll Love 'Em, Pho Sho': Vietnamese Faves

FoodiePrincess and I share an all-consuming love of Vietnamese food.* Especially now, as the temperature begins to climb to its August apex, we long for the fresh, vibrant flavors of our favorite Southeast Asian cuisine. But let's face it - it's not really the kind of food you want to make at home. Ever tried to wrap your own rice-paper spring rolls? 'Nuff said. This stuff is better left to the experts. Good thing we've been scouting out awesome Dallas-area Vietnamese restaurants for, oh, about fifteen years or so... 

Below you'll find a few of our pho-tastic faves - and we're always on the lookout for more. Have we missed one of your favorites? Must we rush right out to crunch and slurp at a new spot? Please do share! In the meantime, get ready to program your GPS:

DallasEats' Vietnamese Favorites

4812 Bryan St # 100
Dallas, TX 75204

FP and her adorable hub love this little East Dallas spot. She's partial to the Pho Tai (as she is pretty much everywhere), and the Spicy Chicken Soup is also to-die-for good. P.S. - don't miss the crispy spring rolls. Yum.

Pho 95
9780 Walnut St #120
Dallas, TX 75243

Both FP and I have been hitting Pho 95 since high school. A fancy chef I interviewed recently proclaimed a love for this hole in the wall, too. But don't expect white tablecloths and fawning servers - it's strictly "slurp 'em if you got 'em". We haven't tried anything we haven't liked, and the prices are such that you'll have plenty of pocket money left for a shopping spree at Hong Kong Marketplace after lunch (Pocky for dessert!).

Pho Bac
153 N Plano Rd
Richardson, TX 75081

Pho Bac is similar to Pho 95 in its aesthetic (or lack thereof), but also similar in that the food is just delicious. Excellent Pho, vermicelli dishes and crispy little Vietnamese Eggrolls.

4302 Bryan St
Dallas, TX 75204

This recently-discovered favorite offers a full menu of delicious dishes in addition to a pretty darn good lunchtime buffet. Judging by the crowds, we weren't the first on the scene with this one, but that hasn't stopped us from spreading the word. Pho, Banh Mi and spring rolls are all great at Vietnam, and the aforementioned buffet made my Dad very happy on our last visit - and he knows his stuff!

3211 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219

What can we say about Green Papaya that we haven't said before? Well, plenty actually - in recent months, we've discovered the #24 and the #35 (we think), a cool bowl of chicken and vermicelli with all the good stuff (much like pho without the broth) and a wicked delicious shrimp coconut curry that might leave you licking your plate. Both pair well with a tall, cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc on a warm spring evening. They might even tempt FP away from the Canh Chu next time around...

Happy slurping! Enjoy!

* It's just one of the things we have in common with the incomparable Anthony Bourdain. But we're not telling what the other ones are. Yet.


Eddie G said... just named a couple of my favorite spots, pho sho' :)

Anonymous said...

We love Mai's. And I recently discovered you can bring in your own wine. I think I love it even more.

Classy&Sassy said...

BYOB at Mai's? Great tip!

Anonymous said...

M and I are always looking for delivery. We get lazy after happy hour and we need the food to come to us. Do any of these places deliver?

Classy&Sassy said...

Not that I am aware of. Take-out may be your only option, GP. Can I call you "GP"? :)

HeatherBakes said...

Yum- I love pho! One of my chef instructors swears you can't get the authentic Pho taste without tripe... needless to say, I've yet to take that plunge.

luniz said...

Tripe is actually pretty good in pho, way better than in Menudo. For pho I like Pho Bang in Garland, near the grocery store, across the street from Ba Le, which makes pretty decent banh mi sandwiches. For bun bo hue and banh mi I generally prefer La Me, and I hear the bun cha hanoi is really good there. If you're not intimidated by an authentic atmosphere, try Pho Bang.

Classy&Sassy said...

Heather, I appreciate your instructor's love of pho!

However, in my humble opinion, what really makes the dish is the play on temperature (hot/cold), texture (comforting/crisp) and flavor (rich/fresh) that you get when you combine the ingredients. In other words, I rather see somebody eating a bowl of offal-less pho with all the "weeds" thrown in than a bowl *with* tripe and no added veggies or herbs or what-have-you.

Luniz - I'm from Garland. Which grocery store is Pho Bang near?

luniz said...

I don't really know the name, Nuc Troung or something maybe? I don't remember the sign being in English. There's a tofu place a couple doors down that makes a refreshing sugar cane drink. Ba Le is across the street as you walk out of the grocery, Pho Bang would be on your right. I think it's at Walnut and Jupiter.

The J.R. said...

Hey Kids...Well, if anyone loves their Charlie Chow it is The (lovable) J.R...there were some you missed on the list...although, I am not quite sure they are vietnamese...cause when it comes to Asian food its all the same to me...Is that racist or un-PC? even if I mean it in a loving Christian supportive kinda way? Anyway, where was I? oh yes, Oishi? They have Sushi, and chinese food, but also spring rolls and Spring rolls are Vietnamese, Right? This is all too confusing....just get me whatever and put some siracha on it....until next time...J.R.

luniz said...

Pho Bac was a good rec. I tried it for the first time tonight. I don't think the broth is quite as good good as Pho Bang's (not quite as rich/complex) but I like that the noodles are thinner, easier slurping for a white boy.

disbjohn said...

For Vietnamese places west of 360, there are a few good ones in Arlington.

There's also a Pho 95 in Arlington (arkansas/360)

Pho Hung at New York Ave/Pioneer Pkwy.

The one that I've been frequenting the most now when I'm in Arlington is Pho Palace at Collins/Pioneer Pkwy.

For some other good Vietnamese cuisine besides pho, you got to try P.T.T. at New York Ave/Arkansas Ln. Their Com ga roti is delicious. If you're into curry, there curry is great as well. It is different than thai curries in that there is no coconut milk used.

For Banh mi (sandwiches), goto Ba Le off Browning in between Arkansas and Pioneer pkwy. They make their own french bread in store and has more of a buttery taste to the bread.

For more upscale Vietnamese food, go to Thanh Thanh restaurant at 360/Arkansas ln. If you can dine during lunch time weekdays, they have good lunch specials. I like their bo luc lac (shaken beef). If you're on a hungry stomach, try their 7 course beef dinner.

Hope that helps =)

If you want to venture further west, My Lan in Haltom City off Belknap/Beach is a good place to eat.

Scott said...

You are right on with Pho Bac. My Vietnamese coworkers have told me many horror stories of bad Pho and some unsavory practices but they all trust Pho Bac, which along with great food makes it a winner. I warn any white boys rolling in there during a soccer game to be ready for a smoked filled unique experience.

Classy&Sassy said...

Is this Scott from by any chance? I have been trying to get my account to work on your website for ages :) If it's you, please help!

lovebug331 said...

Hello! I'm vietnamese and here are a few places that I always take my non-Vietnamese friends whenever they come into town:

Pho Pasteur in Richardson--My favorite place! I love being there because of the atmosphere. The waitors and owners are very friendly. The decor is very eclectic. And the pho is absolutely amazing!

Bistro---although they may not have the best service in town, their food is as close to authentic Vietnamese food as you can get. People like going there because they have such a large menu and even if you're in a mood for Pho, but someone in your family is not, they will be able to find something to satisfy those taste buds. I recommend their pork spring rolls. It is probably their most famous item. Just ask them. They'll know what you're talking about.

Oh and Pho 95---is a no go. It was one of the original pho places that opened in the Garland area and I remember going there as a kid but now, I don't know ANYONE who still goes there...or even talks about it.

Anonymous said...

Very nice thanks for sharing..................

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