These days, who doesn’t love Pho? Like a melting pot, you could find various groups of Asian (Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, Philippines), Black, White and Hispanic in a Pho’s place. Even the Mexican loves Pho. I was at Pho Tay Ho in Virginia and the joint was filled with Mexicans eating Pho and drinking fresh coconut juice. I love to see other ethnicities love Pho as much as we do; however, am I the only one who is having a hard time finding a Pho’s eatery that lives up to the authentic standards?
Every time we take a road trip, we would try to find a Pho’s place nearby using our GBS. I have been very disappointed at most of the places I have been to. They even failed the most basic element of Pho: making it hot. A warm bowl of Pho loses its enticement and the rice noodle expands much faster. Pho and basil can’t go without the other, yet many places only offer a few leaves. What frustrated me the most is the broth, which is the essential part of Pho’s experience. Without a savory broth, you might as well not eating it. The common mistake is the inconsistency of the broth. For instance, the first time I went to Pho Tay Ho (in Virginia), it was fantastic. The broth was perfect, but when I went back for the second time, it was almost tasted like water. This happens to the Pho Hoa franchise as well. Unlike McDonald’s, not every Pho Hoa tastes the same.
I was at Pho Golden Cow last Saturday and it was decent, though I am not sure if it is always that consistent. I have to visit a Pho place at least two or three times in order to know if that place keeps up with the Pho standards or not.