Vietnamese Pho. I may not have tried a great many dishes in my lifetime, but I am certainly open to trying new dishes should the opportunity present itself. So today, a couple co-workers and myself, ventured a couple blocks over to the Vietnamese Bistro, Pho Nouveau. Although both co-workers had been there before, this was my first time, not only eating at the establishment but eating Vietnamese food. Thankfully, I had my co-worker, Lisa, who is Vietnamese, help ‘school’ and guide me through this most delicious meal!
First off, if you could ignore all the construction work being done on the business next door, once you walk into Pho Nouveau, tha ambiance of the restaurant was great. It was both airy and cozy, with big windows looking out at the downtown Boise lunch traffic, and an assortment of tables and booths. The menus in particular catching my attention. They spared NO EXPENSE making an impression with those! Best menus I’ve seen in a while.
Speaking of which, although my main goal on this particular visit was to try Pho, I could see, judging by the assortment of items on the menu that another lunch time trip would be warranted. There were 3 or 4 other dishes that I would absolutely have to have, that I saw on the menu.
What is Vietnamese Pho?
Taking the best description I could find, for Vietnamese Pho straight from the Pho Nouveau menu:
Hearty, delicious, meal-in-a-bowl, Vietnamese noodle soup features a ginger & star anise infused broth & thin rice noodles. Topped with onions. Served with fresh basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeño & lime.
You could order this with a variety of ‘additionals’ such as chicken, beef, tofu, beef brisket, meatball, beef shank or shrimp.
I think I had made the comment during lunch that this would be the healthiest thing (relatively speaking) that I would probably eat this week. Much of the Pho seemed composed of carrots and leafy greens, with the rice noodles piled on, but hidden beneath the ‘foliage’ that floated atop the soup.
I think the thing that struck me, almost immediately is how FRESH it tasted. And maybe its just me because of all the not-so-healthy things I eat (actually, I’m not THAT bad…but anyways…), but since it seemed to have very little seasoning in it, you really got the full blast of freshness from it, fresh veggies, rice noodles, the whole bowl.
Lisa and my other co-worker, Nathan, helped instruct me on the various types of chop sticks and the variety of ways to wield them, with each having their own preference. I ‘managed’ just fine, but by the end of the meal, had fallen back onto familiar ground with my handy fork and ‘shoveling’ the rest of the bowl of Pho down my ‘bottomless chute!’
Do Try Vietnamese Pho at Pho Nouveau
I think in a town like Boise (which is growing in leaps and bounds), we are fortunate to have access to, not only such a diverse range of foods, but a diverse AND authentic range of foods.
Pho Nouveau has a great and intimate, downtown layout and a great assortment of dishes on the menu (Pho Nouveau lunch menu). So, if you are ever in downtown Boise, and looking for something different for lunch or dinner, I would encourage you to try it out. And just remember, if you do, to return back here with a full report and let me know in the comments below!
And lastly, in closing, since we did have a birthday for a co-worker in the office today, I took the opportunity to make her a Strawberries and Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust. Turned out to be a most helpful afternoon boost after a most delicious lunch time meal!