Monday, May 09, 2005

Fee Fi Pho

Comfort food is a very personal thing. Culture and tradition play a part in the selection. Macaroni and cheese, a bowl of creamy polenta, chicken and dumplings are all good choices. A newly developed comfort taste for me is Vietnamese Pho, a hardy, seasoned beef broth with rice noodles. I’ve tried this soup at a number of restaurants in different towns. The taste of the broth changes a little from shop to shop but it is always hot, filling, and comforting. I had a chance to sample pho at Saigon Village restaurant, 720 B Street, San Rafael, Ca. I chose the #16 Tai (Thin slices of raw beef are added and cook in the hot broth). It comes with a plate of garnish items (sprouts, peppers, purple basil, and lime wedges) that may be added to taste. Red rooster hot sauce, hoisin, fish sauce and soy are tableside to add fire to the soup. Careful or you end up with numb lips!

The restaurant was spotless. It appeared much more upscale than the price of the meal ($5.95 for large bowl). There are lots of other choices on the menu with prices well below $10. The spring rolls looked mighty fine as they went by. Service was fast and personable. Very comforting.
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