|Extra-Cheap||Good for Carryout||No Alcohol|
If you haven’t eaten a lot of pho, the broth in a bowl of the Vietnamese soup might appear to be not so different from place to place. It’s a subtle thing, but take a closer taste and you’ll see that some broths are watery or thinly extracted, some are strong with hits of cinnamon and star anise, some are almost consommé-like in their lightness. This one’s rich—the most fortified and full-bodied we’ve come across, testament both to the quality of the oxtails that give up their flavor and fat and to the care of the kitchen in tending the elixir over the many hours it takes to simmer on the stove. It’s an addicting bowl, no matter what meats, garnishes, or condiments you customize it with.
Also good: Pho with gau (fatty brisket) and gan (tendon); pho with chin (well-done steak) and nam (flank).