Pho is made personal by what’s added (example, the amount of Sriracha) and the techniques in tackling the bowl. How do you proportion each bite, for instance? I used to just douse everything with sauce and make the bowl look like a crime scene, but I’ve become more civilized by keeping my sauce separate for dipping.
At its bare essentials, differences in broth, noodle texture or amount, as well as the quality of the rare steak and other meat or seafood sides make pho distinct, and thus determine where I’ll go to get it.
Everyone has a go-to place and will contest that their favorite is the best. You may disagree, but here are my top five pho places.
1. The Pig and the Lady
The holiest pho around: If it were Jacuzzi-sized, I’d soak in it for days. The broth is savory and gets soaked up in the baguette, making a bite release the tides of flavor. Every pho place on this island sticks to the template, but the P&L ($13, with smoked bacon, 12-hour brisket, braised green onion and baguette) is the most unique. It’s the bacon and egg that make it special. I save them for last, and it’s like a burst of breakfast goodness.
The Pig and the Lady
83 King St.
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