The next stop on our Boston March was the Super 88 in Allston. Super 88 is a regional chain of Asian grocery stores (now part of the larger Hong Kong Supermarket chain), and the Allston location opened to much fanfare in 2002. In addition to having good Asian produce and seafood section, it also had an onsite bakery and a really good selection of basic Chinese groceries. More importantly, however, was that the front of the store was made into the “88 Food Connection”, a small food court featuring half a dozen Asian food vendors, including Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Bubble Tea, and other wonderful spots. It’s a great little place to meet up with friends and grab a quick Asian treat, so we decided it was also a good stop on the March. And one of those vendors, Pho Viet’s, is one of the better places around Boston to grab a Banh Mi sandwich.
I’ve had a rather strong love of Vietnamese food since discovering it in the early 1990s. And I’ve been relatively blessed to have some decent places to get Vietnamese food in most of the places I’ve lived. East Lansing, MI wasn’t exactly a culinary mecca, but it did have Saigon Restaurant, which was a reliable source of Phở for my college years. Minneapolis was chock full of Vietnamese (and Cambodian) places, most of them very delicious. And I’ve even enjoyed watching the demographics of my parents’ neighborhood in Arizona change, with several good Vietnamese places popping up within a mile of their house.
Northern New Hampshire, however, is basically bereft of Vietnamese food. When we moved here, we discovered that not only did the area not have any Vietnamese restaurants, but almost nobody up here even knew what Vietnamese food was. After some web searching and talking around (including a brief period at work where I had a Vietnamese coworker), we discovered the unfortunate fact: Vietnamese food required traveling at least to Nashua to the Southeast, or Williston to the Northwest, in order to find a Vietnamese place. So we hopped in the car and checked things out.
Fast forward almost a dozen years, and the situation isn’t much changed. You can actually buy sriracha sauce in the stores now. And Golden Bowl now offers Phở in Manchester, NH. And quite a few places have come (and gone, even) around Burlington. But generally, that means a craving for Phở, cha gio, or any other Vietnamese food requires a road trip. So this weekend, when we found ourselves passing through Nashua after a weekend shopping trip, we decided it was time for another visit to Vietnam Noodle House.
On Christmas Eve, we did one of our usual hikes in the Phoenix area (South Mountain’s National Trail), and afterward, we decided to grab a late lunch.
Of course, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do on Christmas Eve, since most businesses aren’t open (in the past, we’ve ended up at TGI Friday’s for similar reasons). Of course, Southwest Mesa (and the adjoining area in Chandler) have developed a substantial Asian population, and now the area between Dobson and Alma School from roughly Main Street in the North, down to Ray Road in the South, has gotten quite the selection of Vietnamese Pho shops.
Several of these were open on Christmas Eve, including Pho Nhat on Southern…
Our last full day in London, we decided that it would be nice to go on another London Walks tour, this time choosing a tour of the River Lea and the canals, ending up at the Olympic Park site by the Pudding Mill Lane DLR station. But on the way out there, we decided it was a good opportunity to grab some Vietnamese food, primarily since Carol and I don’t get a lot of good opportunities for Pho (the nearest Vietnamese restaurant to our house in New Hampshire is 45 miles away) at Tay Do…
For the nth year in a row, Carol and I went to the Vermont Brewers’ Festival in Burlington, VT. Every year we like to attend on Saturday, enjoy the festival, and then explore downtown Burlington a bit, and then find a new place to try to eat. This year, we settled on Pho Hong. I’ve always loved Vietnamese food, but it’s one of the hardest cuisines for me to indulge in. From my house in Grantham, I can draw an approximate 60 mile radius circle without enclosing a single Vietnamese place. The nearest is in Manchester (Golden Bowl, which I’ve reviewed here). But I’m always looking for new places, and sometime in 2008 Pho Hong appeared, making it the third Vietnamese place in the Burlington area, and (I believe) the first in the actual city.
If you look over my history of postings, it’s obvious that I like Vietnamese food, and like pho in particular (having done at least three postings on the topic). I’m still waiting for that magical day when some Vietnamese people decide to move to the Upper Valley and set up a good Vietnamese restaurant (if you’re somehow thinking about it, let me know, I’ll invest… And be one of the best customers). Until then, I have to get most of my Vietnamese food when traveling. This time, it was Pho Dao #1 in Murrieta, CA…
In late August I had a business trip that included a stop in Arlington, Virginia. From roughly 1991 through earlier this year, my brother used to live in the DC area, so I’ve been coming to various Arlington and DC destinations for quite a long time. Indeed, I’ve long been a fan of several of the Arlington Vietnamese joints. Pho 75 has long been a favorite, and the Clarendon area used to be chock-a-block with little Vietnamese restaurants. Alas, times change, and many of the Clarendon Vietnamese places have been turned into parking lots, apartment buildings, or parking lots turned into apartment buildings.
(Closed) 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.