(CLOSED. Pho Bang closed in 2010, and has been replaced by Pho Thanh in the same location. I will re-review at some point)
I’ve been a pho addict for almost 15 years now. Unfortunately, living in New Hampshire, I’ve got no local pho joints, and only two that are within an hour’s drive of my home.
So most any time I’m traveling to an area with good Pho shops, I try and get a pho fix. Phoenix is a particularly good area for Pho, with a large Vietnamese population. I used to have a favorite place up in Scottsdale by the Motorola plant, but it isn’t there anymore. Khai Hoan on Apache in Tempe is good as well, but wasn’t open on Christmas Eve this year, so we decided to give one of the better-reviewed places in Phoenix a try (19th Ave around Camelback has a number of Vietnamese businesses). We settled on Pho Bang due to a number of good reviews online, including two that mention that it’s John McCain’s favorite Pho joint.
Pho Bang definitely hit the spot with this meal. Our Cha Gio (eggrolls) were perfectly crisped, had a nicely spiced pork filling, and were served with a good amount of herbs and lettuce (I hate it when they don’t give you enough lettuce with your Cha Gio).
The Pho itself was one of the better ones I’ve had recently. My Pho Tai Gan had a very flavorful broth, perfectly cooked noodles, rare beef slices, and some nicely tender tendon (which isn’t a draw for most people, but I rather like tendon in my Pho). The vegetables were clean, crisp, and plentiful. This is probably the best bowl of Pho I’ve had since a trip to Virginia a few years ago.
Rounded out with a nice Cafe Sua Da, and this was a near-perfect lunch.