Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pot au Pho

Brrrr.... it's nights like this - frigid, windswept and threatening - when I find myself craving pho, that delectably light, yet warm and satisfying Vietnamese soup that's a one-bowl meal. Last night was no exception. We had a holiday party on the late night agenda, yet being that I knew my dining options would be limited once we arrived, the plan was to eat ahead. So we headed downtown to Whitney Ave. to this reliable little hideaway.

Set up a flight of stairs from the streetside Asian apothecary, Pot au Pho is a cozy spot for an informal, inexpensive and quick meal. The upstairs has two tables with limited seating, so you're welcomed downstairs to join the small but lively college crowd that typically gathers most weeknights.

We started our meal with the summer rolls, thin rice paper packages filled with rice noodles, shredded cabbage and fresh basil accompanied by a peanut dipping sauce and spiralized pickled carrot salad. I chose the Soup Chay for my entree, a humungous bowl brimming with clear broth flavored with Star Anise, baby bok choy, carrot rounds, shiitake mushrooms and chunks of steamed tofu. It's amazing how such light fare can prove to be so filling.

I had my heart set on the delectable banana tapioca pudding for dessert and requested it at the beginning of the meal, only to be crushed when told they had already sold out. This is no ordinary pudding. It's the perfect blend of creaminess with the warmed bananas and chewy tapioca all bathed in a decadent coconut milk cream. I think I may have to make a special trip there this week to get my just desserts.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I recently visited Pot au Pho for the first time. I was excited to see the number of vegan options, but was not impressed with the Soup Chay. It was more expensive (almost double) and not as tasty as the Veggie Dumpling and Tofu Noodle Soups at York Street Noodle House. It's definitely a great option if you're in the neighborhood. But if you can, I recommend walking 10 minutes to York Street.