Pho-nomenal

Local restaurants ladle up delectable Vietnamese dishes

BY JEANETTE HURT  |  PHOTO BY DAVID SZYMANSKI

If you’re suffering from a spring cold, forget the traditional chicken noodle soup and instead go for a nice, warming bowl of pho.  Properly pronounced “fuh” or “fah,” this Vietnamese delight boasts an especially fragrant broth typically filled with sliced meats or seafood and plenty of yummy noodles. But the secret is in the broth, made with beef and/or chicken bones, and in the numerous spices, including fresh ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. It cooks for several hours, then the mixture is strained until it’s clear. When it’s served, you can add your own bean sprouts, Thai basil, mint, sliced jalapeños and lime to add extra texture and spice. Here are five great local places to get a bowl:

Vietnamese Noodles
At this North Shore Vietnamese restaurant, the bowls of Pho seem almost endless…or, well, let’s just say the menu offers 20 different combinations. Choices include rare steak, well-done steak, well-done flank steak, meatballs, tendon, tripe and crispy chicken dumplings. vietnamesenoodlesmequon.com

Vientiane Noodle Shop
Located in the heart of the Silver City neighborhood on Milwaukee’s South Side, this restaurant offers a variety of noodle dishes — from regular to those made with beef and meatballs to a combination, which adds seafood to make it a trifecta. You can also get a vegetable or tofu pho, as well as spice duck and ox tail pho. vientianenoodles.com

Lucky Ginger
This Third Ward establishment serves a mean bowl of pho, whether it’s veggie, beef or chicken. But if you love seafood, this version comes not only with shrimp, but also scallops, imitation crab and squid. luckygingermilwaukee.com

Hue
These Bay View and Wauwatosa restaurants serve pho in several variations, including beef, chicken and vegetarian. They also serve up a veggie meat version that adds vegetarian meatballs to the veggie and tofu mix. huerestaurants.com

Buddha Lounge
This pan-Asian restaurant serves up your choice of beef or chicken broth, and the regular pho comes with brisket, tendon and meatballs. There is also a pretty hefty vegetarian option, which is chockfull of bok choy, tofu, baby corn, broccoli and mushrooms. buddhaloungemke.com

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