PHO–best food ever invented, IMHO

Okay..so I can’t have you thinking that all I like to eat are truffles and caviar…because I don’t and I don’t want to sound snobby (I’m not :P).The food that REALLY (yes, bold, caps, & italicized, can I emphasize it anymore??) excites me is PHO.  I love soup noodles, but something about pho just really hits the spot.  Today, I would like to pay homage to my favorite — Pho!  Long overdue, but sadly, I haven’t been able to make it to my favorite place until last weekend.  Thank you to Vietnamese people for this creation.  If I had only one last meal, there’s a very high likelihood I’d probably choose this.  That’s how much I like it.Most places that I’ve had pho, I’m sorry to say, are pretty mediocre.  Okay, I shouldn’t say mediocre, just not as good as my favorite place in the city.  I guess I like what I like 🙂 There used to be a place that I loved in the sunset, which I still do, I’ve just found somewhere much closer that I like just as much:Quan Ngon
http://www.yelp.com/biz/quan-ngon-san-franciscoIt serves northern style pho with the flat wide noodles, no bean sprouts or herbs.  The broth is always hot and really flavorful.  Their meat isn’t like the typical dried cardboard pieces that get overcooked by the broth and turn grey colored.  I’m not sure where this restaurant is getting their meat from, but it’s always been SUPER tender and delicious!

The meat is still slightly raw and not overcooked when its served.  Boy, I miss it…it’s funny because it’s still in San Francisco, but just soooo far…should definitely make a trip back soon…
I’ve replaced this restaurant with a much closer Vietnamese restaurant, my favorite — Miss Saigon  (http://www.misssaigonsf.com/)!  It’s in a pretty seedy area of SF, off of 6th Street and Mission, but that doesn’t deter us!! The food is always good and the owner is nice and friendly.  There’s always a smile on his face and he always asks if we enjoyed our meal.  It isn’t just a pho restaurant, which I like, because they have all of the other of Vietnamese dishes as well.
Even though it’s pretty close and considered a bargain bite, I’m not sure why we don’t go more often.  It’s funny because we used to always only order #17B — Pho with Filet Mignon (more on this later).  I’m sure the owner used to think “Can’t these guys ever order something else!!?”
We both just loved it so much, that we couldn’t branch out.  Although recently..I have tried to, by ordering that and an additional entree haha.
So here it is..#17B!!
This pho has never failed me.  The broth here is also always piping hot and flavorful.  It’s a nice dark color, which in my mind is makes it more tasty.  Whenever I get the lighter broths at other restaurants, they always end up tasting bland.  In addition, what Miss Saigon does that other pho restaurants don’t do is add sliced red onions and pepper (I love pepper..I add it everything!) which really adds to the flavor, and they don’t skimp on the green onions either!  The filet mignon does sort of look like a mashed up piece of meat, like someone has pounded it to oblivion, but at least it’s really tender!
You can also order it with the regular beef, but come on–why would you??  And after having the filet, it’ll taste like cardboard!  2 or 3 lime wedges (they always have lime, not lemons) squeezed into the soup, and some jalapenos thrown in for some spice, and it is my favorite thing I can eat repeatedly!  I probably get more excitement and enjoyment out of eating there then all of those other fancy restaurants.  I tell SW that I am innately simple, although he doesn’t always seem to agree 😀
SW loves imperial rolls, which you can never go wrong with either.  Fried and crunchy, wrapped in a piece of lettuce with cucumbers, mint, and cilantro and then dipped into the fish sauce.  This is another great combo of different flavors and textures!
On Sunday, after a long day of being out and about, there was only one craving that I had and it was Miss Saigon.  Not to mention, I was hungry.  Me hungry is not a pretty sight.  Needless to say, when we got there for dinner, I already knew that I was getting #17B..but a lot of the other items looked good on the menu too….I wanted the pho, and something else.  Yes, my eyes were bigger then my tummy, but I figured I could also order something else and take it home to eat the next day.  I decided to also get:
Crushed rice with lemongrass pork and a fried egg on top
Even the next day when I ate it for lunch..it was still delicious..
I don’t travel down to San Jose often, but I’m sure that there is some pretty legit Vietnamese food there. Oh Oakland too!  Pho Ao Sen  is good and always packed (http://phoaosen.com/)..but it’s in Oakland, which we don’t go to often and sort of scary, that area at least.  I’ve also heard areas in SoCal also have really good places too.  I would totally go to Vietnam just to eat..maybe one day!
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