Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Over a year ago I read Gail Ciampa's article in ProJo about chef Eric Bui and his restaurant, Pho Horn's (50 Ann Mary Street, Pawtucket  401-365-6278), just over the Providence line off North Main. Vietnamese and Chinese offerings share the menu; it's the Vietnamese you're after, especially the soup. Share a Vietnamese crepe* (not a crepe at all in the French sense but a light eggy disk filled with sprouts and sliced shrimp) and try any one of the soups featuring different beef parts in a spicy broth filled with rice noodles and hot peppers, bean sprouts and fresh basil. The peppers, sprouts and basil are served on the side so you have a little control over flavor and intensity. Newcomers tend to order the soup with "identifiable" beef; more adventurous folk add tripe, sinew, etc. No need for adventure as the the broth itself, with the entire side plate of veggies tossed in for good measure, could stand alone - would, in fact, be fine with no meat at all (and there is a fish option). Pho Horn's other popular soup is the one ProJo wrote about, Chao Rice Chowder with Pork, chicken stock flavored with pork, scallions, shallots, ginger and cilantro using sushi rice instead of rice noodles. Cilantro and ginger, what's better?

Pho Horn's is in a shopping center (off North Main, near 95) which has lost both anchor stores giving the scene an eerie atmosphere. The entire site is part of a land deal so who knows what will happen. Don't be put off by the location, or the decor, which I call "early pizza". It may be an unseen location but people know it's there. The waiter will likely ask if it's your first visit and then offer guidance.

A note about soup portions: unless you've been on the French fast for a week, order the Small.

* help. Blogspot refusing to allow special characters

No comments:

Post a Comment