If I don’t eat pho twice I week I am a miserable human being. Seriously, I eat it two or three times a week, mostly for breakfast. There’s nothing better than going to Turtle Tower at 8:30 a.m. when they open and sucking down a big bowl of pho. It’s like you’re Mario and you hit the golden star: You are powered up and can go all day.
I typically get the No. 3, pho with flank steak. I sit at the communal table and watch the Vietnamese dudes and just copy what they do—adding lemon juice, herbs and varying amounts of Sriracha depending on how hungover I am. If I go at lunch, I get the No. 4 with rare beef, tripe, flank and brisket. But Jesus! It’s too much meat for breakfast. The thing I love most about the pho at Turtle Tower are the noodles. I don’t know if they make them, but they are so silky.
I also go to Out the Door on Bush Street, since it’s right around the corner from the pizzeria. I love the vermicelli noodle soup with chicken. The noodles are perfectly cooked so that you can get through the whole bowl before they’re overcooked, and the chicken is shredded finely enough that it sticks to the noodles. I always rock the Sriracha, lime and Thai basil in my pho there. But the best part about pho is the slurping. Italians don’t slurp their noodles.
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