Talk to a UTA student and it’s likely he’ll say that pho is more than a food — it’s a remedy.
Pho is a well-known and beloved Vietnamese dish, a giant bowl of piping-hot liquid yumminess. It’s deceptively simple – a light beef broth with rice noodles and slices of steak, served with an array of toppings and condiments you can add as you wish. Hover your nose over a big bowl of pho and close your eyes — you’ll temporarily be transported to a culinary heaven. It truly has rejuvenating qualities, it does wonders for your sinuses, and it’s a blessing when you have a cold.
Some say it even can cure your hangover. The FDA has yet to weigh on that claim.
Don’t obsess over the pronunciation. Many mistakenly say it like “foe” but it’s more accurate to say “fuh.” But even if you can’t grasp spoken Vietnamese, everyone will know what you mean. Many who sell it around here will pronounce it “foe” so don’t worry about sounding weird!
Pho is all about the broth: beef bones, ginger, onion, a dash of fish sauce, and a blend of herbs that work in perfect harmony. For the restaurants that do it right, the soup must simmer all day. Some restaurants will simmer for two hours, some for twelve hours – you can definitely taste which is which.
Each pho is a bit different. All of them offer the standard assortment of toppings and condiments. A variety of proteins including chicken or meatballs are common. You’ll also find options for tripe (stomach), but don’t feel obligated to try it if that’s not your thing.
Now that the education is complete, where can you get it in town?
Glad you asked! Here’s a few great options of pho in Arlington.
780 East Road to Six Flags, Suite 238
Arlington, TX 76011
Sprout’s Springroll & Pho is a well-known destination for pho in Arlington. The small, family-owned restaurant is located in Lincoln Square close to the Entertainment District excitement. It got Arlington buzzing when it was featured on Man Vs. Food Nation with Adam Richman (Travel Channel) in August 2011. It’s challenge of finishing a Super Bowl (five pounds of pho) was on display. If you can finish a Super Bowl, you get a Pho-Killa t-shirt. Who doesn’t want bragging rights for that? The Pho (noodle soups) come in three sizes: regular ($5.99 to $6.99); large ($6.99 to 7.99) and the Super Bowl ($15.99).
100 W Pioneer Pkwy, Suite 158
Arlington, TX 76010
Talk to locals and many will tell you Pho Pasteur has the best pho in the city. This could be because they cooked their broth for 12 hours, according to the menu. You can find them tucked in a shopping plaza on the corner of Pioneer Parkway and Center St. The portions and prices are extremely generous, as a small bowl ($5.25) could fill up two people. But if you’re starving, an extra large bowl is only $6.75.
5005 S. Cooper St.
Arlington, TX 76017
This place is a departure from what you’d expect a Vietnamese restaurant to look like. The owners wanted to create a place that was known for its ambiance and beauty as much as the food. We say mission accomplished. The pho prices are a bit more expensive than other options ($6.95/small, $7.97/large), but keep in mind the sleek and upscale atmosphere. The story behind this family-owned company is a complicated and admirable one that is worth the read.
2126 S Collins St
Arlington, TX 76010
You can expect a clean dining experience and great service at Pho Palace, which patrons appreciate. Owner Kevin Le, previously Pho 95’s manager for eight years, wanted to put his personal touch on Vietnamese food in Arlington. The pho gets the job done and is a good value at $5.95/small and $6.75/large. With over 20 pho options, you’re sure to find something that speaks to your stomach.
So, which is your favorite for Pho? Did I miss a place? Let us know in the comments.