Once again I was working in one of our other offices so had the chance to step out for lunch, pho for lunch that is. I had one of my fellow pho kings with me so we of course picked a place that had a great reputation.
Driving up to a strip mall, wWe walked in to Pho Express and Specialties in Kirkland a bit earlier than the normal lunch rush. We were of course sat right away but the first thing I noticed when walking in were the other Vietnamese people already there eating. Throughout lunch more continued to show up so we took this for a good sign.
The condiments were clean and we were happy to see that lime seems to be back on the regular pho menu now that the prices have fallen back down to normal levels. The basil was fresh, the bean sprouts crispy and the jalapeno spicy. The only thing lacking was quantity as the plate was a bit short of things for two.
Our bowls of soup arrived in just a few minutes after ordering. The broth was delicious with no oiliness at all. The beef flavor was rich and strong and the broth was exceedingly hot. So hot that even when I was taking my last few sips it remained hotter than some other places upon first serving it to us. Our bowls were warm all the way to the top so I can only assume they keep the bowls hot and ready for the soup.
After adding my usual splashes and swirls of hoisin and sriracha sauce I dug into the bowl eating the noodles straight from bowl to mouth and bringing the broth into play in between portions of the noodles.
The steak was perhaps the tenderest steak I’ve ever had in a bowl of pho. It’s a pity that there was so little of it to be found.
Overall, my experience was excellent. The bowl of pho was among the top five I’ve had. If they could just hand out a bit more condiments and a smidgen more meat, it would hit the three bowl rating.
Heat Index: A+
Overall: B+ (two out of three pho bowls)