Friday, August 22, 2008

Vietnamese soul food

On my way to a concert on the Lower East Side the other night I decided to walk through Chinatown and see if I couldn't scrounge up something delicious to eat. I was strolling more or less aimlessly when I suddenly realized exactly what I wanted: pho from Nha Trang. Now for a New Yorker I have a laughably bad sense of direction, but my stomach managed to lead me true, and my efforts were rewarded with a deep, steaming bowl of comfort food.

If you haven't had pho before, trying it should be at the top of your to-do list. Pho is noodle soup: it's usually comprised of a rich beef broth loaded with thin rice noodles and served with different cuts of meat, such as thin-sliced beef, meatballs, or fish balls. The best thing about pho is the do-it-yourself style in which you eat it: the soup comes with a plate of flavorful garnishes--usually bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil leaves and a lime wedge--that you add at your discretion along with soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sriracha. Each bowl of pho is different, and that's what's so fun about it. It's also the perfect meal for the budget-conscious: at $5.75, the type of pho I ordered the other night (#1, with beef brisket, eyeround, tendon and tripe) was the most expensive on the menu. That's still a bargain in my book:

Nha Trang
87 Baxter St. (between Canal and Bayard)
(212) 233-5948

Nha Trang Centre (alternate location)
148 Centre St. (at Walker St.)
(212) 941-9292


Malcolm said...

went here tonight with Allan, Petra, and Becca and it was a v.good recommendation. I had the L.32 chicken curry soup with vermicelli, and it was tasty. And fabulously cheap.

Lauren said...

Glad you liked it! I aim to please.

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