Foodie Curiosity: Pho

Recently I experienced a new restaurant downtown Brantford, Nine North Viet-Thai.  I wouldn’t have typically considered this location for lunch although an archway of balloons caught my eye. I figured, if they went to all the trouble of putting up balloons,  I would reciprocate to see what was hidden beyond the colourful archway.

I love curiosity with food as this is how we explore flavour, texture and taste … and on this day, my curiosity was right on the mark!  Through the old doors that once was, opened up the new kid in town, a bright, open, fresh new restaurant with an aromatic welcoming you just couldn’t resist.

A quick browse at the menu was all I really wanted, yet the others waiting for take-out orders had lots to say!  “Get the Pho, it’s amazing.”   “I had the Pho and I’m back again.”  “I’m waiting for an order of Pho,  my colleague recommended it.”   I loved how excited everyone was yet I had a very simple question in my mind.  What is Pho anyways?

Pho (pronounced fuh) is a type of Vietnamese soup, typically made from beef stock and spices to which rice noodles, a separate side plate of fresh herbs & sprouts plus thinly sliced beef or chicken are added to create a huge bowl of gorgeous aromatic soup.

Pho dishes are all low in fat, saturated fat & are a good source of 10 of your vitamins and minerals including vitamins C, B3, B6, folate, iron and magnesium.

I couldn’t resist.  “One order of Chicken Pho please!”

After I received my white take-out bag, I was excited to return to the office to begin the process of building my lunch.  Yes, it’s a build your own style of soup and my first experience was unforgettable.  The fragrance and freshness of what I was building was making me salivate.   The preparation of tearing the basil, adding the hot sauce and lemongrass, tossing the sprouts then pouring the broth was as equally pleasing as the end result.

Photo taken by Spicy Jan – My Lunch!

On the first slurp, I was delighted with my walk through the colourful archway.  The Pho was gorgeous with flavour, brimming with aromatic lemongrass and basil, the chicken was charred to perfection which gave the soup an earthy flavour profile, the noodles were plentiful and messy and the Pho broth was oddly pungent.  When blended together these gifts of natures goodness was a scrumptious messy massive bowl of Pho and  I loved every spoonful of it. Wow, what a lunch!

Note to self  … next time I need a bigger bowl, possibly a bib and to learn the proper use of chop sticks.

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