Address: 1721 Wilson Boulevard; Arlington, VA 22209
Date & time of visit: December 26th 2013 + 2:00pm
Price (only one size): $8.00 USD
Broth: 5 | Beef: 7 | Noodle: 8 | Condiment: 7 | Service/atmosphere: 8.5 | Overall: 7.1
Broth: 6.5 | Beef: 8 | Noodle: 8.5 | Condiment: 8.5 | Service/atmosphere: 9 | Overall: 8.1
Broth: 9 | Beef: 8 | Noodle: 9 | Condiment: 9 | Service/atmosphere: 7 | Overall: 8.4
Broth: 10 | Beef: 10 | Noodle: 10 | Condiment: 10 | Service/atmosphere: 10 | Overall: 10
Broth: 8 | Beef: 7 | Noodle: 8 | Condiment: 10 | Service/atmosphere: 10 | Overall: 8.4
Overall Rating: 8.4
Quality per dollar (based on large pho): 1.05
Write-up from Jason:
A Good, Old-Fashioned Family Phodown!
This one has been a long time coming.
A few weeks ago I wrote about learning to appreciate pho in North America after having a transformative (trans-pho-mative?) experience in Vietnam. It was something of a pretentious thing to write, but when I did come back for a pho at my childhood pho shop in Virginia, it was impossible to ignore just how different my perception was. This post is about that first pho back.
Pho 75 is the pho I grew up with. It’s widely considered one of the best, if not the best, pho in the DC-area, which is home to large Vietnamese population. I spent a lot of time at this place as a kid and in many ways it’s my gauge for what good pho is.
So it was a rather disturbing experience late last year when I came back and it just didn’t taste the same. The sights and sounds of Pho 75 were the comforting vestiges of my youth, but the broth – once my standard for pho broth – fell flat. There wasn’t the pure funky umami that I had gotten used to in Vietnam.
That said, we’ve never featured a full family phodown on this website and now is the time. My family has been coming to Pho 75 for over 15 years so let’s see what they thought.
My dad, the pho-patriarch of the family, is know for his brand loyalty. He gave it tens across the board. A strong statement from a strong man.
Mom was a bit more moderate, finding faults with the essence of this pho but loving the soft-components (i.e., condiment and service/atmosphere).
Steve apparently had issues with the service here (he likes fancy Italian restaurants) but was very positive otherwise.
Finally, Mikey, my traveling companion in Vietnam and brother from the same mother largely echoed my concerns, finding the broth seriously lacking.
Bottom Line: Pho 75 is still one of the best phos in North America.
Despite all of this, maybe the most telling score is a behavioral one. We will be back.