I recently discovered a new religion.
I’m not sure what to call my new spiritual calling, but I can tell you it involves eating as much pho as I can get my hands on. I had been curious since my buddy Spoon started raving about it last summer; a couple weeks go, we found ourselves hungry and within walking distance of the strip.
OK. This is pho:
It’s pretty simple, really — a slightly sweet beef broth, simmered for hours, thinly sliced beef, rice noodles and some scallions. The plate on the side allows you to make your pho the way you want it: sprouts, jalapeño, basil. There’s also some red pepper paste that serious hot — I used just a little.
I know, I know — it doesn’t really sound like a big deal, but holy crap, it’s amazing. Sweet, spicy, tender beef and noodles. A wide range of flavors that blend into something that’s completely unique, at least to me.
And if you’re more adventurous than me, you can get your pho with tendons and tripe. If you do, be sure to tell me how it is.
The first time we stopped at Vietnam’s Pho in the strip a couple weeks ago, Mrs. Crappy didn’t have pho. She tried Bun Dac Biet — number 15 on your menu — a delicious mix of pork and grilled shrimp mixed with veggies and served over vermicelli with the best spring roll I’ve ever tasted.
If you haven’t tried pho — or any of the other delicious-looking Vietnamese fare — you should. And if you’re really curious about it, you should join us Tuesday night at Vietnam’s Pho, at 1627 Penn Ave., for our first-ever pho-up. Bring cash — they don’t take cards — and come hungry. You might just have a religious experience.
UPDATE, Sunday: We’re meeting at 7. You can RSVP at the Pittsburgh Tweetup site. BRING CASH.