Clearly this summer’s steamy temps (my car’s external temperature gauge registered 122 degrees yesterday) are not hindering our love of hot soups, more specifically Vietnamese pho (pronounced sort of like “fuh” but with a pitch rise at the end). A while back I attended a tasting at Pho Colonial, which looks like its finally ready to open doors on its second location, this one downtown next to the Pressbox in the base of the Wilson building. And the list keeps growing. A quick search of our directory turned up Pho Huy in Richardson, Pho Bang in Garland, La Me on Walnut, and Tu Hai in Fort Worth. Count multi-ethnic noodle houses, such as Noodle Wave off Spring Valley Road and the list gets even longer.
But it was the opening of Pho is for Lovers (on the corner Greenville and, yes, Lovers) that finally convinced me that we’re in the midst of a Pho-king frenzy.
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I stopped by on Friday afternoon with noodles on the brain. I walked out with a take-out order of spring rolls, chicken pho, beef pho, and grilled pork vermicelli (this is why you never shop, or order, hungry).
It feels unfair to compare Pho is for Lovers (to be referred to as PIFL from here forward) to Pho Colonial—or really any of the others to each other for that matter. While Pho Colonial benefits from Khanh Dao’s commercial experience, PIFL comes across as hip, spare, and plucky. A true start-up. The spring rolls were clearly freshly rolled, their skins stretched to the limit with fresh shrimp. Both varieties of pho came separated out with broth in one container, noodles and meat in another, and bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh basil sprigs, and freshly sliced jalapeños in their own ziploc bag. Nothing was getting combined until we were god and ready to start eating.
As with all pho, PIFL’s varieties were a mess to eat (in the good way), and the leftovers soaked up the broth, leaving them even softer and more satisfying the next day. The entire venture was friendly, social media savvy, and clean—three essential ingredients becessary for a successful start-up in the midst of a summer as pho-king hot as this one.