Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: Pho 14

Pho 14’s version of the much-loved Vietnamese noodle soup pho (regular $7.95, large $8.95) may not convert the die-hards who flock to the suburbs to visit Pho 75, but this Columbia Heights cafe’s bowls have a lot going for them, including a hit of anise, a variety of meats, and accompaniments such as bean sprouts, basil, lime, and jalapeños.

Other bargains include artfully plated sliced beef short ribs ($8.95) served with a mound of rice and ribbons of colorful veggies. Succulent grilled pork is the star of a bowl of vermicelli bun ($8.95) accented with cucumber and chopped peanuts. Banh mi sandwiches come with a cup of beef broth and an appetizer, all for $8.95. Choose the skewered shrimp for your appetizer, which normally sells for $5.95, and you’ll be surprised at how well you can eat for so little.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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