What the Pho? It’s the Summer of Hot Noodles.

I want to make fun of the name; I really do.

Clearly this summer’s steamy temps (my car’s external temperature gauge registered 122 degrees yesterday) are not hindering our love of hot soups, more specifically Vietnamese pho (pronounced sort of like “fuh” but with a pitch rise at the end). A while back I attended a tasting at Pho Colonial, which looks like its finally ready to open doors on its second location, this one downtown next to the Pressbox in the base of the Wilson building. And the list keeps growing. A quick search of our directory turned up Pho Huy in Richardson, Pho Bang in Garland, La Me on Walnut, and Tu Hai in Fort Worth. Count multi-ethnic noodle houses, such as Noodle Wave off Spring Valley Road and the list gets even longer.

But it was the opening of Pho is for Lovers (on the corner Greenville and, yes, Lovers) that finally convinced me that we’re in the midst of a Pho-king frenzy.

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I stopped by on Friday afternoon with noodles on the brain. I walked out with a take-out order of spring rolls, chicken pho, beef pho, and grilled pork vermicelli (this is why you never shop, or order, hungry).

It feels unfair to compare Pho is for Lovers (to be referred to as PIFL from here forward) to Pho Colonial—or really any of the others to each other for that matter. While Pho Colonial benefits from Khanh Dao’s commercial experience, PIFL comes across as hip, spare, and plucky. A true start-up. The spring rolls were clearly freshly rolled, their skins stretched to the limit with fresh shrimp. Both varieties of pho came separated out with broth in one container, noodles and meat in another, and bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh basil sprigs, and freshly sliced jalapeños in their own ziploc bag. Nothing was getting combined until we were god and ready to start eating.

As with all pho, PIFL’s varieties were a mess to eat (in the good way), and the leftovers soaked up the broth, leaving them even softer and more satisfying the next day. The entire venture was friendly, social media savvy, and clean—three essential ingredients becessary for a successful start-up in the midst of a summer as pho-king hot as this one.

17 comments on “What the Pho? It’s the Summer of Hot Noodles.

  1. Gee, I’ve lived in the Metroplex more than 20 years and it took this long to catch up with the rest of America on the wonders of Pho?

    So much for Dallas and D Magazine being cutting edge.

  2. what are you talking about? theres always been a crapload of pho restaurants in the metroplex especially in the northern suburbs. i would say there is definately an emergence of pho places in the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods but we’ve always had pho places. trust me, i’m vietnamese

  3. I think “Pho-king” just became my adjective/ euphemism of choice. As for pho, the northern territories have been blessed with an embarrassment of brothy riches for years. I take mine at La Me.

  4. Pho is for Lovers is fantastic. The Bahn Mi sandwiches are terrific and very high quality, especially compared with the slew of the usual deli shops around. The owners are always there and the quality shows. Well done y’all, save me a seat.

  5. Living in Uptown, It’s so nice not having to drive to Garland for my Pho fix.

  6. I’ve gone to Pho Bang in Garland for the last 7 – 9 years since moving to Dallas and I am THRILLED that there is a closer option that is just as good, if not better, than Pho Bang!! Pho is for Lovers is AHH-MAZING!!! I love the beef Pho, spring rolls, and Vietnamese egg rolls. I can’t wait to try the Bun Thit Nuong…(or Vietnamese Grilled Pork and Vermicelli Noodles) next time. I’ve grown up around Vietnamese cuisine for the last 25 years and this is truly the most authentic and delicious place I’ve ever tried. DO NOT MISS IT!!!

  7. How about Pho Pasteur in Richardson? Always excellent Pho and Bahn Mi. Not only that but on the day of the katrina evacuees from Houston, two coach loads of vietnamese folks turned up while I was there at lunch. Always a good sign!

  8. I love Pho and have always gone to Richardson or Garland for my fix. I was excited when Pho is for Lovers opened closer to my neighborhood. I wish they wouldn’t serve hot soup in plastic. The soup is good, but I won’t go back because they only use plastic bowls and utensils.

  9. Spoon18- i also had a problem with the plasticware (the food itself was delicious, especially the korean banh mi). I brought up my concern with owner? and he basically told me that the restaurant was designed as a take out spot but had more dine in customers than expected so would be acquiring non disposable ware soon. I think its a bit premature of you to cross off this great new spot without even trying to address the issue with management.

  10. Arielle- I did discuss it with one of the family members and she said it had to do with the type of commercial license they acquired. They don’t have a commercial dishwasher because they are considered a “to go” eatery instead of a restaurant due to the number of parking spots. If they change to non-disposable tableware, I will be back! I even joked about if I could bring my own bowl instead of using their plastic ones (I know, I am part hippie…).

  11. Had lunch here today. Yes, the food is very good albeit, somewhat pricey for what you get in comparison to the Vietnamese restaurants in Garland. But everything on the smallish menu is very tasty, indeed. Especially the beef pho broth!
    The “plastic ware” is only temporary. Our wizard city fathers and mothers make them use the plastic because technically, they’re listed as a “take out” restaurant.
    However, they have a dishwashing machine coming and after they get it going, they will be serving on proper restaurant china. Or as in their case, Vietnamese.
    Now when I need my beef pho fix, I only have to drive the few miles from the Knox-Henderson area.

  12. Any recommendations for (casual dining) Asian restaurants inside the loop would be greatly appreciated. I’m a fan of Oishii, and looking for others.
    Thanks.

  13. Ironically, there’s a place called “What the Pho” outside Seattle – sadly, most places in Dallas are better. That leaves me searching for comparable places.

  14. @PF. Lemongrass @ 2711 Elm Street in Deep Ellum. Free parking in their own little lot directly across the street. Food is delicious and service is gracious.
    Pretty restaurant with lovely patio out back and white tablecloths but, casual and not terribly expensive.

  15. Trust me, try Pho Chau on W. Mockingbird Ln. and Harry Hines. The chicken pho with the spicy broth is amazing.

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