Pho However You Like It at Pho Ha
Pho Ha is one of the many traditional Vietnamese noodle soup (pho) joints located in the shopping plazas of Washington Ave. What I like about Pho Ha is that the menu is user friendly and each ingredient can be customized to your preference. Ha’s menu clearly lists the meat components in their pho from least to most scary. The “small” pho starts at a mere $5.60 and is HUGE. Since these restaurants deal with such high volume of similar pho orders, they are prepared to get it to the table incredibly fast.
All orders come with the customary plate of bean sprouts, jalapenos, thai basil, and lime to add to your pho as needed. Sriracha and fish sauce are provided on each table.
Not being the biggest fan of tendon or tripe in my pho, the steak and brisket combo had the layered star-anisey herbal and meat flavors that I love, with lean cuts of identifiable meat that finish cooking while in the hot soup. The flavor of the broth stands out even with all the added things floating about.
Avoid the chicken pho (dry and flavorless) and the fatty flank (pure yellow fat) despite the menu’s promise that “you’ll love every bit of it”.
As for the appetizers, while the spring roll was kind of weird- I could barely identify the meat inside, the summer rolls were just how I like them, filled with big shrimp and accompanied by a thick peanut sauce.
I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of Pho Ha’s adorable t-shirts.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Huge bowls of soup for under $6
- Quickest serving of a main course this side of the Mississippi
- The pho can be as simple or exotic as you want it
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Not the easiest to get to without a car
- If you hate cilantro, look out, the pho is swimming with it
- Cash only, but there is an ATM in the shopping center
Pho Ha, 610 Washington Ave (@6th St.), 215-599-0264