It has taken me forever to finally make it to Pho Viet in 5 Points. There has always been something in the way, whether it be someone I was meeting for lunch/dinner wanting to go somewhere else, or my own “I’ll go later…” and not making it, or moratoriums on eating out, but finally today I put everything else aside and said, “I am going there for lunch TODAY.”
So I did.
Upon entering Pho Viet, I was hit by a familiar smell that does take some getting used to- the smell of an Asian market. I sat pretty much knew what I wanted because I’d snagged a Pho Viet menu from outside of the restaurant the week before while waiting for friends outside of the Village Idiot. There are three obvious vegetarian entrees on the menu: #30, #31 and #65. I chose #31, the Mi Rau Cai (not dragging out the character map, so please excuse the lack of symbols over the vowels), which is mixed vegetables noodle soup with yellow noodles. I was starving, only having had watermelon and a cookie prior to lunch and was expecting to still be hungry after the soup… until it arrived at the table.
This is essentially the vegetarian/vegan version of the Pho for which the restaurant is named. Pho is pronounced “fuh,” which makes it almost too easy to say that it was phocking filling, not to mention good. This soup is loaded with cabbage, carrots, broccoli florets, tofu cubes, scallions, and of course the lightly scented but flavor filled broth. Garnishes to the left include Thai basil, chilies, a lime wedge, and mung bean sprouts. I put a good many basil leaves, as much juice as the lime would give, and a generous handful of bean sprouts in the soup and read my Free Times horoscope while waiting for it to cool just a touch.
Like sleep, this soup is full of sustenance and healing. Not necessarily ideal for a 100+ degree day, I can imagine coming to Pho Viet on the verge of a cold and ordering a bowl of pho to go. The flavors in the soup mingle together wonderfully, and after filling one’s belly with the nutrient-rich vegetables, imagine how amazing that aromatic, soul comforting broth would feel sliding down a sore throat and filling your belly with warm liquid that is full of herbs and spices that are known for healing illnesses.
Of course, after such a belly-toasting bowl of soup, I couldn’t bear the thought of going back out into the scorching early afternoon heat without a cool drink, so I ordered a Thai iced bubble tea to compare theirs with the one from Bubble Tea Cafe just earlier this week. This one had a lot more pearls in it, and it was a touch less sweet. I have to say, I think I preferred BTC’s version over this one, though this one is probably more authentic. Here is yet another car-drink shot.
Did you see the whole stem of Thai basil in the second photo? Being crazy like I am, I pinched the flowers off of that basil stem, took car not to damage the stalk, and brought it home to see if I could root it and have Thai basil of my own here for free! Here it is nestled in the window sill in one of my favorite pieces of plant-rooting glassware:
After sitting down for a few moments after returning home, the heaviness lifted from my stomach and I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the next chore of the afternoon- taking this handsome dog to get his yearly shots and meds! He loved the car ride, did great for the shots, and has a fancy new butter yellow collar to show off for his good behavior. Good Wood!