|An Loi's pho with kimchi|
Vietnamese soup makes for a great dinner -- either a casual dinner out or great get-well takeout for home. The standard pho -- which is pronounced "fugh" despite the bad "fo" puns above -- is a beef stock served with several beef options and an array of Thai basil, sprouts and sliced hot peppers that you can use to personalize the dish.
An Loi and Pho Dat Thanh in Columbia both do a fine pho. I can't claim they match the amazing Vietnamese food that you could get in Northern Virginia. But I enjoy my basic bowl with thin-sliced brisket and eye-round steak (#P4), and you can't beat dinner entrees at $7.
|Two soups -- one with fried chicken|
Then we left the pho page all together for other Vietnamese soups. Bun bo hue (#H8) comes with vermicelli noodles -- thicker than the regular rice versions. Spicy soup. Nose-clearing, virus-killing spicy. It was exactly what I needed.
Mrs. HowChow mixed up and ordered hu tieu hoac mi ga xoi mo (#H3) -- a soup flavored with minced pork and served with crisp fried chicken on the side. Cool variation. Not chicken as special as you can get. But still proof that you should work around An Loi's menu as well.
Anything else you like at An Loi or Pho Dat Thanh? Mrs. HowChow likes the lemon grass chicken with noodle (#B6), although the spiciness can vary day-to-day. Thai and Vietnamese are both great cuisines, and we have good places. I'm still looking for the great dishes though. (Updated: I fixed both mis-spellings. I think.)