NW Vietnamese News

Video: Seattle Pho-Natics visit Pho So 1

April 07
02:02 2011

Update: This story was recently picked up in the Seattle Times Food & Wine section.

The Seattle Pho-Natics is a group of random friends and strangers from facebook who visit a different Pho place every month, in order to sample all the local flavors. Fitting enough, the first location that the group ever visited was “Pho So 1,″ Vietnamese for “Pho Number 1.”  Unfortunately, most of the attendants did not enjoy their experience.  That was then.  Since that time, “Pho So 1” was bought out by new owners, who wanted a chance at redemption.  They contacted Sean Hoops, President of the Seattle Pho-Natics, and asked him for a second chance.  It appears that their efforts have paid off, and Hoops now considers “Pho So 1” to be one of the best locations in Seattle.

This is my first real experience shooting video with my D7000, and it still takes some getting used to. Still, I had a lot of fun. The Pho there was good, and didn’t leave me feeling bloated with excessive the way that a lot of Pho places will.

The key to judging a good Pho place is whether the customers are there for the noodles, or if they’re there for the broth. Good broth takes time and money to produce, and if the customers don’t bother finishing it off, then the restaurant isn’t going to bother investing in it, because they would be throwing money down the drain. Good broth attracts good customers, and vice verse.  This is a group that clearly cares about broth.

One girl who visited Vietnam told me that in Vietnam, the Pho consists mainly of broth, with very little meat and noodles. Which makes sense, because rice and beef in Vietnam is very expensive, so people tend not to overindulge. I’m of the belief that Vietnamese people in America need to moderate their carbohydrate intake in order to more accurately replicate the health benefits of more traditional cuisine.  According to Gary Taubes, excessive carbohydrates causes the bodies to hold onto sodium, which may explain why sodium intake doesn’t become a problem for Asian immigrants until after they come to America.

I ordered a bowl with everything, drank up all the broth, and left behind about half the noodles. Next time, I’ll probably order half to start with. It’s a good way to help you evaluate the quality without getting distracted.

Video by Don Pham



Seattle Pho-Natics:



Pho So 1:

1207 S Jackson St # 107

Seattle, WA 98144-2093

(206) 860-2824


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