Phở #1 serves up my favorite Phở in ABQ
Ninth visit: March 24, 2016
First visit: June 27, 2008
There are about 48 restaurants in Albuquerque that serve Vietnamese food. I love Phở. When I moved to New Mexico, I started a search for the best Phở to be had here.
My Duke City Phở Quest Ends at Phở #1.
Every time I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, I resolve to try something besides Phở. It rarely works. This place has the best Phở I have had since I left Maryland. Almost as good as that at Phở Real in Silver Spring/Burtonsville MD.
I usually get a small Tai/Nam (beef) Phở wherever I go. The version here at Phở#1 is wonderfully spiced and scented (the aroma is critical), is not short on beef, and has ample noodles.
Start your meal with some Spring Rolls.
Thin delicate wrappers stuffed with bits of pork and shrimp. Dip in the Peanut Sauce (moderately piquant). The Dazzling Deanell was, uh, dazzled. So was I, too. These are among the best and freshest Spring Rolls I have had. Nearly perfect appearance, taste, and texture. A winner.
Lemongrass Chicken with Vegetables in a spicy brown Sauce
The Dazzler likes Phở plenty, but she really loves Lemongrass Chicken, and that’s what she had. The aroma of lemongrass wafted up from the plate and she knew that she got the right stuff. The veggies (mushrooms, bamboo shoots, red bell peppers, tiny corn ears, and more)were masterfully done. The brown sauce needed a tad more piquancy (red pepper flakes or Bird Peppers?) Very delicious dish. I may even order it next time, if I ever tire of Phở (fat chance).
Here comes the Phở.
Phở or pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh Phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily served with either beef or chicken. Phở is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. Southern Vietnamese eat it for breakfast and occasionally lunch, whereas those from northern Vietnam consume it at any time of day.
If you order tai, be sure to get it on a separate plate so that it will not be overcooked by the steaming hot broth.
Get a glass of Salty Lemonade(Chanh muối) .
Somewhat of an acquired taste, this stuff has been on my radar for about twenty years.
Chanh muối is a salted, pickled lime in Vietnamese cuisine. Its name comes from the Vietnamese words chanh (meaning “lime” or “lemon”) and muối (meaning “salt”). To make the chanh muối, many limes (often key limes) are packed tightly in salt in a glass container and placed in the sun until they are pickled. During the process, juices are drawn off the limes, which dissolves the salt and produces a pickling liquid which immerses the finished chanh muối.
Look no further. Go to Phở #1. Eat. Enjoy.
What others are saying
Gil Garduño — New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite
“Launched in 2004, Pho #1 may well be on its way to earning its name. The seven courses of beef is one–make that seven–reasons why. Other reasons include a stellar rendition of the name on the marquee; the restaurant’s pho has earned a reputation as among the city’s very best in a city that has embraced pho.
“In a “Chow Down in Burque Town” forum entitled “Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Town” on the omnibus Duke City Fix, Albuquerque’s pho-fanatics weighed in on their favorites. One of the most frequently mentioned was Pho #1. Common reasons given were the large number of local Vietnamese families who eat there, the “to die for”soups and the genuinely nice family who owns and runs the restaurant.
“Pho #1 specializes in beef noodle soup, the menu referring to it as “the adventurer’s choice” because of the near limitless flavor combinations in which it is available. A small bowl of pho is the size of a wading pool, a large bowl the size of a swimming pool. For a pittance, you can even upsize to an “extra large” bowl which is virtually the size of a pond. It’s common at Pho #1 to enjoy an asynchronous symphony of slurping, the audible inhalation of noodles being heartily enjoyed by entire families, each member partaking of a different size bowl of pho (similar to the A&W restaurant of old concept of Papa, Mama, Teen and Child burgers).”
Hours: 10:30 – 9:00 (Closed Wednesday)