Pho Oregon

$ Vietnamese

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The traditional banh mi and bún (pronounced “boon”) served here deserve a taste, but newcomers display a serious lapse in judgment by not ordering the pho at this tiny, unadorned joint, especially since the menu offers 22 varieties. From the restaurant’s specialty, dac biet—a mighty bowl of the requisite rice noodles accompanied by slices of round steak, flank steak, fatty brisket, tendon, tripe, and beef meatballs—to a soup for the less adventurous that simply features lean brisket (chin), these entrées come in small portions ($6) that can be quite filling. But with a large bowl costing only 50 cents more, there’s little reason to be modest. Surprisingly, the size of the beverage menu rivals that of the pho menu—and it’s just about as interesting. The rich and sweet Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk over ice, the salted lemonade (chanh muoi) and the avocado smoothie (sinh to bo) are all curiously complex. And compelling.

Last updated: 08/14/2012