Tag Archives: best pho in wichita

Saigon Pho

1 Mar

One of the few good things about this winter dragging on is that temperatures have remained optimal for Pho consumption. A large, piping hot bowl of Pho with a little bit of chili sauce it one of my favorite ways to warm up on a frigid day. Wichita has a great Pho scene, with restaurants spread all over the city so you are never more than 10 minutes away from Vietnamese soup. Saigon Pho is a newer option that is located on Harry just East of Oliver. It is actually just a couple of buildings away from the iconic and amazing Manna Wok.

Quick Cure for a Cold Day: Beef Pho

Quick Cure for a Cold Day: Beef Pho

Like many of the businesses along this stretch of Harry, Saigon Pho doesn’t look like much from the outside, but like many good things(especially restaurants) looks are deceiving. The dining area is small inside, but there is still room for a larger group to be comfortable.

The menu covers all the basic Pho combinations, including thinly sliced steak, meatball, and tendon, and is available in medium or large bowls. In addition they also have a few appetizers, fried rice dishes, Bahn Mi, speciality soups, and a vermicelli bowl called Bun. Several of these items are offered as lunch specials as well with prices that range from $5-$6.

On our visit I was torn between the Pho and several of the unique speciality soups, which included wonton noodle, spicy beef, and crab tomato. I ultimately went with the steak and meatball Pho, while Steph decided to try the wonton noodle soup. While we waited for our food the server must have thought we needed some entertainment because she turned on one of those terrible daytime TV shows. There’s a first time for everything I guess.

The key to good Pho is all in the broth. The meat and fixings are all about the same no matter where you go. You will never hear someone praising a restaurant’s Pho because of the bean sprouts. No, all judgement lies in the

Wonton Noodle Soup

Wonton Noodle Soup

mysterious and magical beef broth. Saigon Pho’s was very good. It had a rich and complex flavor with a hint of sweetness that I really liked. The lean slices of steak were served rare and finished cooking in the broth for a nice presentation. I would rank this version of Pho right up there with My Tho and Pho Hien, two of my favorites. The wonton soup was also a delicious meal. The broth was similar to that of the Pho, but sweeter and with a strong shrimp flavor. Several tasty wontons, shrimp, and plenty of noodles were also in the soup.

I was impressed with the quality of Saigon Pho’s soup and I hope that the word gets out about what they are doing. They also have a nice website with some entertaining descriptions of the menu items.

http://saigonpho123.com/

Pho Hien

28 Dec

There is nothing like a big bowl of steaming Pho to take the chill off on a winter’s day. Thankfully Wichita is blessed with a bevy a places that you can get a good authentic bowl of this delicious Vietnamese soup.

Our destination this day was  Pho Hien, located at Broadway and 17th St. On a side note, this particular stretch of Broadway is a “Murder’s Row” of great local places to check out, there is everything from a classic steak joint, to Mexican food trucks, to great Vietnamese and Asian venues.

Wonderful Pho with Garnishes

Pho-king Amazing Pho

Pho Hien has a large and open dining room with plenty of seating for busy lunch time crowds. The menu consists of Pho, Pho, and more Pho. For those of you unfamiliar, Pho is a broth based Vietnamese rice noodle soup that features a protein(typically beef of some sort), onion, and garnishes of bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, jalapeño,  hoisin, and hot sauce. There are several different variations of meat offered with the Pho. You can choose between thinly sliced steak, brisket, tendon, tripe, as well as pork balls, and some seafood variations. Feeling a bit bold I ordered my Pho with tendon, tripe, and thinly sliced steak. Looking around I noticed that some of the bowls coming out appeared to be about the size of a 10 gallon aquarium, so I wisely went with a medium/regular bowl. Less than 5 minutes after our order was placed we had good sized bowls of steaming Pho sitting at our table.

Our service was so fast that the thinly sliced steak was still medium rare in the middle as it came to the table. The meat was tender and unlike some Pho places, had its excess fat trimmed off. Due to some nice slow braising the tendon and tripe were both tender and did not require much chewing. The Pho broth had a wonderfully rich and complex flavor. With a little Hoisin and Sriracha it was some of the best I have had in Wichita.

If you are in the mood for some authentic Pho look for further than Pho Hien. Their high quality food is Pho-king delicious (its funny if you know how to pronounce Pho)  and at $7 for a medium bowl is a solid value as well. Make sure you bring some cold hard cash though, because none of that plastic stuff is taken here.

Pho Hien Noodle Soup Co on Urbanspoon

My Tho

29 Dec

It is my opinion that some of the best food you will find in Wichita, or any other city for that matter, comes from ethnic, hole-in-the-wall places. My Tho, located at Central and Emporia, just so happens to be one of those dives that delivers good eats. There is little on the outside of My Tho that would lead you to believe that it is a restaurant, the small yellow sign doesn’t help matters as it advertises “Star Billiard”. But if you were to venture inside you would quickly learn that this is a place where one comes to dine and dine well.

My Tho: Conveniently located next to Baysinger Police Supply so you can get some Pho and then buy a taser

When we first entered on an early Friday afternoon I noticed the lack of a pool table, even though I could have sworn I have seen a pool table in the window while driving by at night. Where were they hiding this damn thing? Do they move it out every night and replace it with tables and chairs for lunch the next day? Anyway they had a good lunch crowd on our visit, but luckily there was a a deceiving amount of ample seating available. The decor was an instant classic and wins my award for “Best restaurant to utilize white trellis and fake flowers in a design scheme.”  The menu is strictly Vietnamese and consists of several types of soups and Banh Mi sandwiches. Steph decided to go with the ever reliable Pho with brisket and meatballs while I branched out and tried Bo Kho, which is a beef stew/broth with rice noodles.  We also ordered some French bread to accompany our soups. While waiting for our meal to arrive I had the pleasure of observing a mother whip out a small pair of scissors  and proceed to cut up her small child’s bowl of noodles. Wow, what a great trick to deal with those awkward rice noodles that never fail to slip off spoons and chopsticks alike causing violent eruptions of broth in every direction.

Our soups arrived within a few minutes accompanied by the usual Pho condiments including basil, lime slices, and sprouts. We were both glad we ordered the regular sized bowls because the portions were generous. Steph enjoyed her Pho although some of the brisket pieces were a bit fatty.

Delicious beef stew with bagette

My Bo Kho was very good as well. It was very similar to Pho, but with a darker beef broth and chunks of beef. Our small loaf of baguette was perfect for dipping into our respective soups. Throughout the meal both waiters were very attentive and frequently refilled out water glasses. I was particularly pleased with this since I had spiced my soup up with rooster sauce.

My Tho on Urbanspoon

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