This last Friday the Pho Kings (as we are now calling ourselves) and I found ourselves at Time For Pho in Magnolia in our ever expanding quest to sample all of the Pho in and around Seattle.
Upon walking in the door we were greeted with something new, a “pho bar” where the condiments normally delivered to us at our table were available instead in a sort of “pho salad bar.” Green onions, chili paste, bean sprouts, basil, diced onions, and to our happy surprise, cilantro all awaited us and our own personal preferences. Since I love cilantro and had not yet had it in pho I loaded up on this item along with the many other more “usual” pho ingredients I was used to.
All of us agreed, this gave “Time For Pho” a big boost in our personal ratings of the place. Having the option to choose our condiments in the quantities we liked was a big bonus.
We sat down at our table with our own condiment selection and awaited the arrival of our pho as we listened to the Olympics on the television over our heads. Shortly our piping hot soup arrived. This too gave Time For Pho a big plus in our ratings. When you want pho you want it hot, almost too hot to eat, so that you have time to get your toppings into the soup and still enjoy it nice and hot. In my case, I also want a bit of extra time to take photos.
Sipping the broth we realized that while up to now Time For Pho was getting A+ scores, the would not get the coveted “Best Pho in Seattle” distinction reserved for our favorite haunt. The broth was a bit on the oily side and merely “nice” and “pleasant.” I put my traditional toppings and and poured on a big portion of cilantro. While this did nothing to improve the broth it did make for a much improved soup experience.
Digging around in my bowl, I’d ordered the meatball and steak pho, I found enough meatballs but noticed a rather severe lack of actual steak. It was in there but there just wasn’t very much available for me to eat.
Regardless, I enjoyed the pho. It was solid if a bit uninspired. I would recommend Time For Pho if you happen to be in the area. Specifically, that condiment bar is pretty awesome. I wish more pho places would give you more options to either serve your self or branch out beyond the “usual” additions.
Heat Index: A+
Overall: B- (two out of three pho bowls)