As the weather turns chilly, you’re probably craving those lobster rolls less. Gelato doesn’t have the same appeal on a cold and rainy winter evening as it would on a sun-soaked afternoon. You definitely aren’t checking for that coleslaw that you devoured by the gallon at every BBQ this summer. No, now is the time to cozy on up to something warm and weather appropriate … we’re talking pho, folks.
Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, consists of a broth base with linguine-like rice noodles called bánh phở. Throw in some herbs and a protein (usually beef or chicken, but there’s tofu versions out there too), and you have the Vietnamese cuisine’s cure for the winter blues. Before we go any further, let’s just get one thing out of the way – it’s pronounced “fuh”.
So you’re intrigued, but not quite sure where to begin your pho search, we’ve compiled a list of Rewards Network restaurants across the country to get you started on your pho-tastic journey.
The Many Meaty Choices at 6-1-Pho
Located in Columbus, Ohio, this Midwestern gem is just bursting with Vietnamese favorites: pho, bánh mì (sub sandwiches), co’m (a rice bowl with sliced cucumber, tomato, and pickled veggies), and bun (vermicelli-style noodles topped with crushed peanuts, lettuce and bean sprouts). What really sets this pho apart are the protein options; go beyond the classic choices of beef and chicken and check out the meatball, raw steak and tofu variations.
Pho Zen, A Houston Favorite
Who knew that the Lone Star state was capable of cranking out delicious bowls of authentic pho? You’ll find that and more at Pho Zen. The pho here comes in many of the more familiar varieties, but if you’re looking for a change of pace, try the shrimp pho. There’s also a turf-centric pho special called the Phở Gessner—eye round steak, flank, brisket, tendon, tripe and meatball.
Got Banh Mi and Pho? Houston Sure Does!
The chefs at Got Bahn Mi and Pho? are working to make pho as ubiquitous as milk. They’re doing a great job, too. A fast casual restaurant that dishes up seven different types of pho, this restaurant is known for their crisp and flavorful broth serving as a deceptively simple base to their excellent cuts of meat. Fortune favors the bold here: treat yourself to the pho combo of rare beef, brisket, and meatballs.
The Freshest Ingredients at Pho Hoa of Orlando
Let’s stay south and head east for a moment to sunny Florida. With locations in Orlando, across the country, and in Asia, Pho Hoa has been serving up pho to its customers for nearly 30 years. Billing themselves as the Health Conscious Choice™, Pho Hoa uses fresh vegetables and herbs, and only the finest cuts of meat. What makes this pho different? The cuts of fatty (or crispy) flank, tendon, and tripe that you can order.
The Many Languages of California’s Nam Vietnamese
How do you say “delicious” in French? Cambodian? Or Vietnamese? If you don’t know, the staff at Nam Vietnamese Eatery can sure tell you. You can order in one of six languages (or a combination) and the multilingual staff will be able to offer you excellent customer service in each. The pho base here is heavy on the flavor with the addition of lime and other herbs that made it “Best Pho 2015” as voted by OC Weekly Readers’ Choice.
So Many Options at San Diego’s Mignon Pho
If you often find yourself wishing that you really could have it your way at your favorite restaurant, then this pho shop has your happiness (and health) at heart. Infinitely customizable, Mignon Pho lets you make the pho you always knew you wanted. With options that range from imitation crab to filet mignon and bok choy to broccoli, you’ll find yourself returning again and again to try new combinations. Also, this is one of the few pho places that can tout an MSG, vegan, and gluten free option.
Soothing, Satisfying Broths at V Café
There are few things cooler than TriBeCa, NYC, and the pho at V Café has both style and substance. Here, they concoct unique broths like the five spice with garlic, which makes for a modern twist on the classic broth recipes that is also a great complement for the dumplings and roasted pork. Sample the Pho Bo HaNoi Soup, a delectable combination of beef, julienne scallions, rice noodles, and onions in a spicy beef broth.
These are just a few of the pho houses on our program, and each serves up a unique take on an old standby. Every day, they introduce new generations to this Vietnamese staple and dish up a bit of nostalgia to those already familiar with the dish. When the temps drop (or don’t, depending on where you live), bundle up or order-in for a soup that’s flavorful, hearty, and (insert lame pho joke here) un-pho-gettable!
Want more noodle knowledge? Check out our look at Pasta by the Numbers: