THE TWENTY-SOMETHING FOODIE
by Melissa Kravitz
On the first chilly day of fall, I suggested to a friend that we go out for pho. “Fa?” she asked, confused what I was suggesting. With ramen so popular now, I was shocked that a New Yorker my age had never enjoyed pho (and I say this as someone who eats hearty, tasty meals on a budget, not as a food snob). This hard-to-pronounce easy-to-spell rice noodle soup is a key component of Vietnamese cuisine, and a fantastic way to warm up in cold weather. In most cities in America, it’s difficult to find a delicious bowl of pho, but in New York we’re lucky to have dozens of varieties. Here are a few of my favorites throughout NYC.
Stick your chopsticks and a deep spoon into a steaming bowl of vegetable pho at Lan Cafe, a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village, which serves steamy bowls of fragrant pho that doesn’t lack in flavor. The soup comes with an abundance of vegetables, many more greens than you’d see in your typical bowl, cubes of tofu, and the traditional raw bean sprouts on the side are also served with homemade sauces to mix in, if you want to amp up the spice level of your bowl of vegan soup.
|Colorful and tasty vegetable pho at Lan Cafe –credit|
|Saigon Shack’s spicy pho –credit|
|Last Sunday’s lunch. Such a pho-to opp! (Get it?)|
Enjoy pho with a bang at Pho Bang, located between Chinatown and Little Italy, forging a potential spot for a future Little Vietnam. Extra-large bowls are all around $6 (Pho Grand is their biggest competitor) and packed with fresh ingredients. Along with rice noodles, egg noodles are also available, as well as bread, if you like a starchier soup. Mussels, squid, shrimp, scallops, and fried fish are all unique options, and some more fusion-style bowls of pho include ingredients like pineapple, okra, and cubes of beef.
|Pho, pho good –credit|
As we say in New York City, pho-gettaboutit, and enjoy a steamy bowl of soup as the cold weather comes to New York.