At Pho Dakao in Downtown Framingham, steaming hot, authentically delicious Vietnamese noodle soup is the star attraction, no matter how you pronounce it.
“The correct pronunciation is actually Pho [fuh],” owner Dang Pham explained. “But a lot of people say Pho [foh].”
The soup section only takes up about 10 percent of the menu, but it accounts for over 60 percent of their business. So, for every order of Fresh Summer Rolls, Soft Shell Crab, Papaya Salad, and Sweet and Sour Chicken, a couple more bowls of pho will come out of the kitchen.
The chef is the family patriarch, Hiep Pham, who also owns and operates their original restaurant in Worcester. He does everything the right way, starting with the made-from-scratch beef broth that simmers for over 12 hours.
First into the bowl go the rice noodles that have soaked in hot water. Next goes the thinly sliced rare steak; topped with chopped scallions, cilantro and white onions. On top of all of that, a huge ladle of boiling broth, which instantly cooks the steak.
That’s how they make the pho. Here’s how to properly eat it. First things first: it’s all about the broth. Before you do anything, take your spoon and just taste the broth.
Next are the sides. You may get fresh basil leaves, for a nice hint of herbal flavor. You’ll also get some sprouts for a little crispy crunch. Jalapenos for some spice are a must. The final step is the lime. Squeeze in just a little bit of fresh lime juice for that fresh citric acid tang.
Don’t dump a bunch of sauce on top and mix it all in. Instead put a bit of your favorites in a small side bowl. Then you take your chopsticks, get your steak, and dip.
At Pho Dakao you’ll find steak pho, chicken pho, and seafood pho. It’s all very tasty, filling, and good for you. It’s a whole meal, not just a little soup or appetizer.
To round out the menu, check out the crispy Vietnamese crepes; Thai style fried rice with chicken, pineapple, and tomatoes; a beautifully tasty Bird’s Nest noodle dish that’s crispy on the outside and soft in the center; and steak lovers should order the Sizzling Mongolian Beef.
You can find Pho Dakao at 101 Concord Street in Framingham, and online at phodakao.com.
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