Addiction is a cruel mistress: consuming your thoughts & affecting your actions. Don’t be mistaken, you can be addicted to anything: alcohol, cupcakes, shopping. So with a heavy heart, I confess my own addiction: Pho. And not just any pho; my addiction is to a specific pho establishment located at the Langley / Takoma Park crossing.
Pho 75 is the place where all of your pho dreams will come true. From the outside it doesn’t look like much. The shopping center has seen better days: the windows are dirty, and there is a dialysis center right next to a pawn shop. Pho 75 is a true diamond in the rough. A place where angels will dance on your taste buds. No other pho place compares to Pho 75. It’s hard to go back once that tasty tasty broth hits your tongue.
Entering Pho 75, you’re greeted by a large room with cafeteria style tables. Despite its rough exterior (and, let’s be honest, interior), the staff maintain a high level of decorum and insist on seating patrons. Once you’re seated a server comes by to take your order, just like at any restaurant. Unlike at other establishments, the servers speak barely any English. This works out fine because the menu is numbered, and you can just point to what you want.
Pho 75 does one thin: Pho. And it does it well. Too well. All other pho spots are dead to me. I’ve tried different places in the city, but nothing compares to the richness of the broth, the quality of the noodles, the tenderness of the meat, and the quantity of toppings they give. Seriously the toppings make toppings at other pho spots look paltry and stingy, and unlike other pho spots they always have vinegar onion.
For those who are new to pho and like to play it safe, try no. 11 or no.12, these contain the most recognizable cuts of meat. I myself am a slave to one dish & I have never tasted its equal: no. 6, containing, eye-of-round steak, brisket, and tendon. The tendon adds a depth of flavor that I have not encountered this side of the Mississippi, and doubt that I ever will. A healthy dose of sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce pile on the levels taste, enhancing the experience until there is a literal orchestra of flavors on your tongue.
When I first started going to Pho 75, I had to go 3-4 times a week to calm my cravings. Even Anthony Bourdain likes this place.
This is stuff is the real deal. Don’t say you weren’t warned. BTW there are several Locations for Pho 75: there ones I know about are in Hyattsville and the other in Arlington, also there are locations in Philadelphia – which is where Anthony Bourdain visited. Enjoy!!!