Calling all phontrepreneurs. If someone can solve the riddle of not paying for rent (food truck, squatting, etc.) then I highly suggest making your way to NYC where the demand for pho is high but the quality is lower than low.
This latest disaster comes from a restaurant called Spice Saigon. The name intrigued me enough to break my rules and dine at a place that is 1)too fancy for a pho restaurant 2)does not list pho tai as a menu item 3)serves Chinese and Thai cuisine in addition to Vietnamese food.
When a restaurant combines the best of all worlds, inevitably disaster follows. Before the soup came, I was served a salad that was good but out-of-place. Then the summer rolls came which were stuffed with the same salad ingredients, something that I had never seen before.
After that, the ingredients for the pho came. Instead or sriracha, there was sriracha’s cousin, chili garlic sauce. In Vietnamese restaurants, a home-made variety of that sauce is provided in addition to the traditional sriracha and hoisin. Here, it was the principal hot sauce.
Unimpressed by the summer rolls, I waited for the pho to come. Here’s where things get really strange. The broth smelled like chicken noodle soup. The whole point of pho broth is that it is made from beef, not chicken. Hungry, I went in for a taste. My tongue confirmed what my nose suspected: this was chicken noodle soup. Adding in the wrong sriracha and mixing everything around would not change this fact.
Annoyed, I asked for my checked, was outraged that it was $17, and left. What the pho!