The Sophisticated Eater is fun, authentic, and well-traveled. The Sophisticated Eater absolutely has a discerning palate and will not settle for anything less than incredible (the nose knows!) and will definitely drive that extra hour if it means a better meal. Definitely has at least one "hip" allergy - gluten, dairy, soy - and therefore relishes in finding high quality meals done right.
It was an uncharacteristically mild, overcast Spring day and The Sophisticated Eater had made the misguided decision to take a leisurely bike ride into the city. After getting caught in a fit of torrential downpours, The SE was officially wet-dog status (tired, cold, hangry) and in desperate need of sustenance. Wasting no time, The SE immediately headed to the one place that always had the answer: Pho 75.
Pho, of course, is an extremely subjective dish. Some eaters add the lime squeeze, some can't go without sriracha and hoisin, and some prefer to chow down au naturel. Therein lies the beauty of pho; the ability to customize to each eater's tastes, making it a universally pleasing option for all.
All SE's know that the broth is the true star of the meal though, for without a superior base upon which to build your meal, you are really just eating poorly flavored water. Pho 75 has crafted their broth to perfection which is why eaters return over & over again despite dated decor and quite frankly, subpar service.
The SE walked through the double doored entrance of Pho 75 and was greeted by cream colored linoleum floors. Eaters sat side by side at cafeteria style seating, pretending to ignore the complete stranger sitting right next to them as they slurped up fragrant bowls of hot soup.
Ravenous, The SE plopped down at a nearby table and hurriedly ordered a large bowl of soup with sliced eye-of-round and brisket. For good measure, a side of meatballs was also added to the order.
Shivering with excitement at what lay ahead, The SE sat back and watched as other eaters began diving into their bowls of pho.
After what seemed like a lifetime, The SE's bowl of eye round and brisket pho arrived at the table. The broth was clear and piping hot, with a robust meat-y flavor. A peppering of cilantro and green onion pieces floated dutifully on the surface. Upon first slurp, no one individual seasoning (The SE hates when the cinnamon stands out - don't you agree?) was discernible from the other. Perfectly complimenting the savory broth were the noodles, which arrived chewy and held out the urge to become soggy until the majority of the soup had been inhaled by The SE.
With only three pieces of meat remaining in the bowl, The SE remembered to pop up briefly to do the stand up test (when an eater stands up to see how full they are and how much more they can eat) and groaned as it became clear The SE may have failed by a bite or two.
With a sigh, The SE stood up to pay at the counter and smirked furtively, knowing full well that this would not be the SE's last failed stand up test at Pho 75.
Pho 75 is open daily from 10:00am - 9:00pm in Arlington, VA. Cash only.