This past weekend was cold. Well, South Carolina cold. If I told you what the temperature was, most of you would slap me for calling it anything but mild. I blame the wind.
Anyone who’s ever had pho knows that a chilly day is a great excuse to go get a piping hot bowl. And for those of you who have never experienced the glorious bowl of noodles, let me tell you what it is. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, meat, and herbs. It’s served with a variety of garnishes like fresh herbs (often Thai basil and cilantro), bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, and lime. They are plated separately, like condiments, so that you can add them to your liking. It’s quite fun getting to play with your food!
I’ve had pho at Mi Xao, CO, and another sketchy place on Ashley Phosphate that I believe has closed. Phuong was next on my list, as it came highly recommended by several friends. This place is unique. I mean just look at it.
Located on Rivers Ave just a little past the Asian market sits this unassuming little building. But inside, it’s a pretty happening spot, where you will be immediately greeted by the friendly staff.
I wanted to try a few things, so my friend Cory and I both decided to each get an appetizer and an entrée. I ordered the chicken salad with cabbage, carrot, peanut, lime, and fish sauce. As expected, it’s a very light dish with lots of crunch and a hint of sweetness. We both really liked it.
Cory ordered the shrimp pancake (Bánh Xèo), which is essentially a rice flour pancake filled with sprouts, onions, shrimp, and herbs. Neither of us were a fan; it was served a bit cold and had a chewy texture.
Cory and I both chose the Mi Dac Biet: egg noodle soup with wonton, roasted pork, and shrimp.
I was honestly surprised after hearing such raving reviews from friends that I was, um, underwhelmed. I didn’t think the broth had much flavor. I did think the meat was good though. Out of the places I’ve had Vietnamese soups, Mi Xao still stands as my favorite. Their broth is incredible.
After we left Phuong, we headed over to H&L. This place is so great. It’s an old grocery store turned market filled with any Asian food your heart desires. And then some. Please enjoy the next few photos.
Ham & Cheese chips. Because why not?
Not cheese curls. Chiz curls.
Hair dye. Covers gray rapidly for only $8!
Not just anyone’s hair. Lover’s hair.
This lady is thrilled about her new rice cooker.We can’t just call it a rooster?
And finally, my favorite, Crunky Candy!!
I regret not buying a bar.
Pho: have you had it? What’s your favorite bowl? Any other Vietnamese dishes you like?
Charleston friends: which is your favorite Vietnamese restaurant?