This weekend so far has been a weekend of eating out and not cooking in. Last night Andrew and I went out to Pho Little Saigon, a place on the corner of Homestead and Wolfe (about five minutes driving distance from our house). We had been there before and I had been impressed by their pho, shrimp spring rolls, and avocado smoothie. Last night was a little lackluster for me. Let me explain a little more.
The first couple times that I had pho from anywhere I was unimpressed. I’m not a huge fan of rice noodles and I always found it a little bland. A couple weeks ago I was up for trying it again when I was feeling a little under the weather. We went to the closest place to our house: Pho Little Saigon across the street from 99 Ranch Market. I got the pho with rare beef and lean brisket. I also ordered an avocado smoothie and shrimp spring rolls. The pho really hit the spot, it was savory and spicy, the noodles tender but not mushy. The beef was tender and correctly cooked. The smoothie was creamy, cold, and sweet. The spring rolls were full of shrimp and the peanut sauce that came with them was great. The service was efficient and the food came out super quick. This meal made me change my opinion of pho.
Last night I was craving pho again. I wanted to enjoy that savory hot beef broth laced with lemon, mint, and fish sauce. I wanted tender beef, slippery rice noodles. Instead, I got a clump of sticky rice noodles, bland broth, and the beef balls. Oh, the beef balls. They were like meat balls, but the texture looked like hot dogs and felt like squeaky rubber in my mouth. I had been looking forward to something totally different.
I still ate most of it. It was passing and edible. I would just never get beef balls again.
Fried Shrimp Cake
I like shrimp. I like fried things. I’m not sure if I like cake things. I’m not entirely sold on seafood in cake form, but I was intrigued. It sounded good. It sounded like greasy debauchery. It was okay.
What came out was something that was wrapped in layers of flaky, grease soaked pastry. It was like they had not bothered to drain the damn thing. The inside was pretty tasty: creamy, but also chunky and peppery mashed shrimp. It came with a sweet, slightly vinegar sauce that cut through some of the grease. I ate about half of it and couldn’t eat anymore. It just was too greasy.