Pho is somewhat of a miracle in a bowl. It has this way of bringing comfort into your life when you didn’t even know that you needed to be comforted. If you happen to find yourself sick or a little hungover, Pho can speed up the healing process.
Whether you are feeling down and need some warmth or you’re just looking to satisfy your hunger you can’t go wrong indulging in some of the best Pho Chicago has to offer.
Pho [pronounced fuh ] is the Vietnamese version of a hearty soup just as my German heritage has grown me accustomed to Knoephla.
Pho consists of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles, a few herbs, and meat. The traditional meet choices are chicken and various cuts of beef. Perhaps the most important part of the Pho is the broth.
A good broth takes a handful of hours and a lot of attention to create it perfectly. The broth’s consistency is gained from the fat being released by the hunks of bone-in-beef or chicken. Do not let this freak you out, almost all soup bases are created in this fashion.
To control the consistency, the chefs skim the soup to remove any excess fat. Clear broth is good broth.
Spices take form of Saigon cinnamon, star anise, roasted ginger, roasted onion, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed, and clove other varieties can be found, but this is the standard.
Once the broth is completed, the rest of the ingredients are added in. This would be the chicken or beef, a pile tender, white rice noodles coming in raw is diced white onions, chopped cilantro leaves, and scallions. As I stated, the broth is the main feature, the fill-ins are just bonus acts.
The final stage of Pho is what is found on a side plate they are optional. This plate is basically a create-to-taste offering. You typically have the options of bean sprouts, basil, a lime wedge or two, and sometimes even jalape os [seeds still in tact]. As far as sauces go fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet & hot, and Sriracha may be added to alter taste and spice level. Sriracha is my personal favorite.
I would not go too overboard on the condiments remember, the side plate is optional. Taste the Pho plain first, then if you feel like you need to alter it, add ingredients in small doses.
Now that your mouth is salivating uncontrollably, and I want to finish this article so I can go find myself a heaping bowl of some of the best Pho Chicago cooks up, I present to you the must stops.
Best Pho Chicago Restaurants:
Cafe Hoang – $
1020 W Argyle St Chicago, IL 60640
232 W Cermak Rd Chicago, IL 60616
Green Apple – $
201 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60601
Hai Yen – $$
1055 W Argyle St Chicago, IL 60640
L D Pho – $
Lincoln Square, Ravenswood
2739 W Lawrence Chicago, IL 60625
Nha Hang Viet Nam – $
1032 W Argyle St Chicago, IL 60640
Pho 777 – $$
1065 W Argyle St Chicago, IL 60640
Pho 888 – $
1137 W Argyle St Chicago, IL 60640
Pho Lily – $
5100 N Broadway St Chicago, IL 60640
Saigon Bistro – $$
West Rogers Park
6244 N California Chicago, IL 60659
Tank Noodle – $
4953 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640