Best Phở in Montgomery County, MD.
Latest visit: June 7, 2008
First visit: August 2, 2006
This is a wonderful, family-run Phở house. Best Phở I’ve had anywhere in this nation. Ate here 2-3 times each month. Phở only with a few appetizers (spring rolls are excellent).
My first phở experience (which caused a genetic mutation leaving me helpless with a phở craving about every two weeks) was in a small phở house in Northern Virginia that was populated with dozens of elderly men sitting at long oil cloth-covered picnic benches hunched over their bowls quietly (or not so quietly) slurping this magic concoction almost without coming up for air. Yeah, I know, your mom told you to get your face out of your plate and sit up straight. Well, that ain’t the way I learned it in that phở house, so bug off, mom.
Phở (Vietnamese pronunciation: [fə̃, or fuh] is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bo) or chicken (phở ga). The soup includes noodles made from rice and is usually served with basil, lime, bean sprouts, and jalapeños that are added to the soup by the consumer. More specifically, phở is served in a bowl with a specific cut of white rice noodles (called bánh phở’) in clear beef broth, with slim cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations feature tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, or other chicken organs. “With the lot” (made with chicken broth and all or most of the shop’s chicken and cattle offerings, including chicken hearts and livers and beef tripe and tendons) is known as phở đặc biệt (“specialty phở”). A well made phở will warm you in the Winter and cool you in the Summer.
I almost always get a combination of phở bò tái (phở with half-done beef filet) and phở nạm bò (phở with beef flank). It is always spectacular, the bowl has lots of noodles, and the broth is tasty with a nice aroma. Heavenly aroma is crucial.
The Spring Rolls and the Summer Rolls are fabulous. You should also get a sliced pickled onion and drench it in Sriracha. And the sweet coffee is done correctly. Great rich taste.
Stop going to the chains and support these folks at Briggs Chaney and Old Columbia Pike. Tell them the cowboy from New Mexico sent you.
[Some photos couttesy of Cheap Eats in DC. ]