it’s new to me: pho

One of the many perks of working with the other Vida Vegan Con ladies is that they’ve lived here a heck of a lot longer than I have. In my three years in Portland (happy anniversary, Portland Michele) I’ve eaten at more restaurants than I ever thought I would have, given my super special vegan diet, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. (I love Portland!)

Today we had a little lunch meeting, grabbing take-out from Pho PDX. A new restaurant and a new dish! I’d always wanted to try phở but I didn’t know who to trust, since it’s traditionally a beef broth, and I’ve had so-so luck with Asian restaurants of all sorts here. My trusty guides Jess and Janessa wouldn’t steer me wrong.

The restaurant itself is tucked away in this international food court of tiny restaurants that would probably otherwise be carts. There’s an Indian joint and some other kind of something I walked past to get to my phở. The menu up on the wall had a “vegan” section—insert dose of confidence here.

For $6.50 I got the phở vegan, a bowl of broth with rice noodles, red bell pepper, asparagus, green beans, onion, cilantro, mushrooms, and tofu cubes. Then on the side comes the audience participation portion (see below): bean sprouts, jalepeños, Thai basil, and a lime wedge.

Well, yay for new things that don’t suck. Never a fan of soup, I was surprisingly in love with this, since it’s really just vegetables in broth. No goopy, creamy, soupy mess. I really wanted to be a champion and eat all my tofu, but it looked pretty soft so it was a no go. I did, however, have enough leftovers to justify bringing it home, so the tofu will be used somehow—it’s already marinated and ready to be made unsquishy!

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