I am a big fan of the Vietnamese staple, pho. For those of you not familiar with Vietnamese food, pho is soup. Pho is served with chicken, pork or beef, either rice noodles or vermicelli, and accompanied by a side plate of assorted fresh herbs including basil leaves, cilantro leaves, sliced green chile pepper, bean sprouts, and a lime wedge. The broths are rich and bursting with flavor.
Lately, my pho of choice is at Pho Hoa located at 1308 Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey (directly across from Petsmart). The regular (versus large) bowl of pho is $5.50 and is a meal in itself. Today I had the Pho Ga (chicken soup) and it was delicious. Pho Hoa's chicken broth is rich, but not heavy, and includes what I believe to be a hint of thinly sliced fennel. The smells and flavors rising up from the steaming bowl are intoxicating. Kathy had the pho with rare beef and brisket which was also excellent.
You get to control how much of all seasonings go into your pho. I always add a dab of Sriracha (aka Rooster sauce) to my pho for a nice kick. Be careful – it’s hot and a little goes a long way.
We also split an order of Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp & pork served with spicy peanut sauce. Vietnamese spring rolls include sliced pork and shrimp rolled in rice paper with fresh cilantro and vermicelli. While I enjoy fried Vietnamese egg rolls, I like the fresh, delicate tastes of the spring rolls. Pho Hoa's spring rolls are very good and I liked that the shrimp was still a little warm.
Pho Hoa is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Their phone number is (504) 302-2094.
Each time I've been to Pho Hoa, the place has been full of mostly Vietnamese diners. That to me is a sign of the quality of Pho Hoa's food and it's commitment to serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine.