For this week’s restaurant review we’re talkin’ Pho Hoa! Pho Hoa is a little Vietnamese restaurant located in Tamarac, Florida. Pho Hoa is actually part of a worldwide chain of restaurants, but you would never know that from its appearance. Situated in a small strip center, it looks like any small local restaurant. This restaurant serves cheap but very fresh food in a family style environment.
The main attraction is Pho, a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup. The broth for the Pho is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices. Seasonings can include different kinds of cinnamon, star anise, roasted ginger, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed and clove.
The soup includes noodles made from rice and at the last minute before the soup is sent to your table, your choice of thinly cut beef or seafood is added and quickly cooks in the piping hot broth. On your table and included with the soup’s price is a plate of fresh herbs and vegetables; Thai basil, coriander leaves, lime, bean sprouts and peppers. The idea is to add all the table ingredients last so they remain fresh. There are all sorts of pepper sauces as well if you like things spicy. Christine and I have eaten there many times and each time we get a little more adventurous with our Pho selections. This past week Christine ordered her Pho with shrimp, scallops and fresh fish and I ordered mine with beef brisket, fatty flank and tendon. Both were excellent.
The soup is really an experience. From the piping hot temperature it is served at to the heat from the peppers, your whole body heats up and sinuses clear. Think of Pho as chicken noodle or sweet and sour soup on steroids! And don’t worry that summer is here, hot and spicy soups are found all over the world in very hot climates.
The other big hit with us and something we get after the soup (to cool us down) is their ‘Pearl Smoothies.” Pearl Smoothies (sometimes called bubble tea) are a popular craze all around Indonesia. The smoothies consist of fresh fruit of your choice blended smooth. This drink is named a Pearl Smoothie because of the marble-sized tapioca balls or "pearls" that are present and sit at the bottom of the cup. These gummy balls, although having little flavor, are sucked up through extra-wide straws and are consumed along with the drink. The sensation of sucking up the pearls is all the fun. I promise you’ll be laughing like we did the first time you try one. Every sip makes you giggle. What can I say, the drink is fun! GL
Please try the Pho at Pho Hoa and make sure you order a Pearl Smoothe on your way out. The large bowls of Pho are all under $10 and are more than filling.
Pho Hoa is located at 5435 N State Road 7 Tamarac, FL 33319-2921
Phone Number (954) 739-9888Website