The Gluten-Free Gourmand
The closer we get the winter, the more we crave Phở, the aromatic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. We have many places around Salt Lake City to get yourself a decent bowl of Phở; Phở Tay Ho being one of my favorites. Phở Tay Ho actually was our favorite until we found Asia Palace in West Valley which knocked them right off their pedestal. Asia Palace doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside the aroma of Vietnamese spices hits you. Every time we’ve gone, the place has been packed with Vietnamese people – usually a good sign. The service is fantastic too.
Asia Palace gives you the basic Phở condiments, Sriracha and Hoisin sauce, along with some extras we love such as the hot chili oil, chili paste, and fish sauce. Here we don’t like to add any condiments to the broth as I feel it would ruin the perfect flavor of the broth, but at other restaurants I go pretty heavy on the chili oil. I do, however, mix my Sriracha and Hoisin into a little dish for a dipping sauce for the steak. If I feel extra snazzy, I throw in some chili oil. The hubby never has any rhyme or reason for how he puts together his dipping sauce, but it’s always fantastic.
About five minutes after ordering, they’ll bring out your Phở with the typical plate of garnishes: bean sprouts, basil, culantro, lime, and hot chilies (usually jalapeno). Many places around the valley will skimp out and not serve the culantro, so we really appreciate the addition of the herb here. The Phở itself comes already garnished with tons of green onion, red onion, and cilantro leaves. The hubby orders the Phở with rare beef and asks for his beef to be served raw on the side so that he can control it’s cooking in the boiling hot broth. It’s really a smart move, especially if you like your steak medium rare. I ordered the rare beef with meatballs. I like their meatballs here, they’re flavorful and dense but not so chewy like some places.
Do you have a Phở eating ritual? I do. It goes like this: