Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nam Phuong

There comes a point, in the middle of an east coast winter and a bad cold, after the Sudafed and Niquil and hot steamy showers have done some of their magic, where I can just begin to taste again.  Where the only thing I want is the perfect bowl of pho.  This time, I remembered the place I had been meaning to try, generally hailed as the being the best pho in Philadelphia:  Nam Phuong.

The atmosphere at Nam Phuong is a bit better than my old standby, Pho Ha, and the hours are better - 10 to 10 every day.  Also nestled in a chaotic Asian grocery store strip mall on Washington Street, Nam Phuong turned out to be the respite for which I had been looking from the icy snow and my sinus infection.

After a brief flirtation with predictably good summer rolls (with shrimp and pork), we moved onto the pho, with my opting for pho with eye round steak and well-done flank (yes, I know tripe and soft tendon taste better, but I was feeling less than adventurous), and MDC going for pho with beef balls, which the server kindly clarified to "meat balls." 
Arriving with all of the fixings of Thai basil, bean sprouts and sliced chili peppers, the pho satisfied my ultimate soup cravings.  This was a broth that reflected the hours of preparation that should go into all good broths, with vaguely fragrant notes of cilantro, onions, ginger, beef, star anise, and clove melding into one profile that is both comforting and intriguing all at the same time.  The beef itself was tender and flavorful, melding nicely with the hoisin sauce I dolloped on top.

Of course it's pho, which in and of itself can feed a family for days.  Coupled with hearty beef additions, MDC and I did our best to get through it in a couple of hours, with plenty left to take home.  And a further abated cold.

Nam Phuong is located at 11th and Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa,

1 comment:

Christine said...

Holy Pho-ness! We moved to Philly about a year ago, and I have been on a quest to find the best pho haunts. I've been all around Washington ave trying places, so I'm super excited to try Nam Phuong!! Thank you!!