I've got a nasty virus. (Hubby was gracious enough to share.)
So, not feeling up to cooking, we got takeout from Pho Saigon Express in Escondido yesterday. Verdict? Best pho I've ever had in CA. (Can anyone tell me the HTML code for the o in pho? I can't seem to find it.)
I had the Dac Biet Xe Lua (again, need help with special characters please!), which has rare steak, well-done steak, flank, brisket, tendon and tripe. Yes, tendon and tripe. Normally I, too, would say "Ugh!". But with pho, it's different.
The bun (noodles) and meats were packed in a takeout container, the broth in a styrofoam, the garnishes in a plastic bag. The garnishes (sprouts, jalapeños, basil and lime) were fresh, and ample. Vietnamese coriander was missing, unfortunately, but I'm not going to complain too much about that.
The broth? Wonderful. The star anise flavor came through nicely, and there wasn't too much fat on top. It had that unctuous smooth velvety feel to it that makes you think it'll solidify when refrigerated (it didn't). Tasty.
The meats were also nice - superthin slices of raw beef, and slightly thicker slices of well-done beef, flank and brisket. I couldn't tell you which was which other than the raw beef, but it doesn't matter - it was all good. Only a couple pieces of tendon, which is fine with me, because I like one or two pieces, but more than that is just too much. The tripe is the shreddy crunchy nubby kind, nothing like what you get in menudo. I love this stuff.
Packed on top of the noodles and meat were thinly (and I mean thinly) sliced onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onion. I also got a small container of something dark red and spicy - not the normal chile-garlic sauce, this was a smooth sauce. Don't know what it was, but I added some to the broth - I think it scared away the nasty virus that I've been hosting for the last few days.
The whole thing cost me $6.26. And I ate it for dinner last night and lunch today. I've never been this happy and this sick at the same time.