Pho at Pho Bac

One of the best - and most delicious - remedies for a cold in Seattle.
Allison Austin Scheff  |   January 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

Restorative broths can be found in many traditions. In Greece, there’s the lemon-tinged avgolemono soup; Jewish cooks simmer chicken broth for matzo ball soup; and in Mexico, there is menudo, a holiday staple of simmered tripe, chiles, and a deep and rich broth.

But here in Seattle, the favorite restorative broth is pho (pronounced “fuh”), the Vietnamese beef noodle soup served piping hot in generous, wide bowls, with the heady scent of star anise, onion and fennel.

And since most everyone already has their favorite pho spot, I’ll share mine: the once purple but now red (and boat-shaped!) Pho Bac, on the corner of 14th and Jackson.

It earns that distinction partly for sentimental reasons (my first visit was on a school field trip when I was 14), partly because of the kitsch of the plastic flowers hanging from the rafters, and largely because the pho with round steak ($6.50/small; $7.50 large)—with a squeeze of lime, a garden’s worth of Thai basil and several slivers of jalapeño (all provided with your order)—always seems to cure what ails me.

Lunch and dinner daily. International District, 1314 S Jackson St.; 206.323.4387. ¢

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