Cheap Eats 2007: Pho 88
Comments () | Published July 13, 2007
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Pho 88
Address: 10478 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: 301-931-8128
Cuisines: Vietnamese, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 10 AM to 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 10 PM.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Pho number 3; pho number 5; pho ga with chicken; spring rolls; pork chops over rice; mango bubble tea.

There’s only one dish worth talking about at this well-lighted cafe on a busy stretch of Route 1. But that dish—the pho—is so good it’s enough.

Begin with the broth, which is richer than most, with every bit of beefy goodness coaxed from the oxtails that cook for up to 12 hours. Perfumed with star anise, ginger, and cinnamon, and garnished at the table with a shot of lime juice, a squeeze of Sriracha, and a few tears of holy basil, the result is an intoxicating brew. A tangle of vermicelli sits at the bottom of the bowl, and you can customize your order—available in two sizes—by requesting various slices of meat and offal. To diners who might blanch at the likes of beef tendon and tripe, a word of advice: Ignore them if you like, but at least allow their flavors to enrich the broth.

Pho is the perfect antidote to a cold—it’s dubbed Vietnamese penicillin—a source of comfort on a gray day, and a nourishing meal for less than the cost of a matinee movie.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 11:30 AM/ET, 07/13/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews