Pho Tu Do ~ Orderinny

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pho Tu Do

Having made the trip downtown in a blistery sub-20s weather just to have some hot udon at Honmura An, imagine my dismay to find it shuttered on Sunday afternoon. They don't serve lunch on Sundays! Argh...
Utterly defeated, I tried feeling better for myself through retail therapy. Did not work. I tried having sweets to lift my flagging spirits, specifically a buttery cherry scone from Balthazar. Did not work. And my fingers nearly got frostbitten while i attempted to eat the scone with an ungloved hand. I needed some soupy comfort quick, and then I realised I wasn't that far from a bowl of pho in Chinatown.
I find the pho scene in New York not as good compared to other cities with larger Vietnamese communities (pho 75 in Roslyn!) but on such a cold day, a steaming bowl of salty beef broth has great restorative powers no matter where you get it. Lukewarm broth, as some restaurants I've been to serve it, is a cardinal sin. Luckily, Pho Tu Do, my purveyor of choice for the day serves strong and very hot beef broth. I gulp done half a bowl quickly, all table manners forgotten until I my face begins to thaw and I start feeling human again. Then I tackle the generous portion of slick rice noodles, thin cuts of raw beef cooked in the boiling broth and chewy, gelatinous tendons. A heap of bean sprouts flash cooked in the broth adds crunch and some sprigs of mint and a squirt of lemon juice invigorates the broth. I can't finish the noodles but the soup's all gone by the time I call for the check.
Vietnamese restaurants in New York aren't largely specialists and Pho Tu Do is no different, serving pages and pages of other cooked food besides pho. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as variety may come at the cost of less focus, but for $4.25, having some pho on a cold winter's day can't hurt anyone.

Pho Tu Do
118 Bowery St (Bet. Grand & Hester Sts)

No comments: