Food Pho Thought
Traditional Vietnamese cuisine turns out to be fabulous & PHO-nominal
By Brad Meyer
For anyone who thinks all Asian cuisine is pretty much the same, get ready for a cultural and gastronomical revolution: Conroe’s Fabulous Pho is about to rock your world.
Pho, a savory Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat, has become an American passion for three very important attributes. It’s delicious, healthy and versatile enough to change its roster of ingredients to suit your particular tastes. And Fabulous Pho is where area residents go to sample real pho that is both authentic and a really mouthwatering treat.
“We use traditional family recipes and only the freshest ingredients for an authentic taste,” said Thinh Le, owner of Fabulous Pho. “The response from the public has been very gratifying, especially from those that have never experienced Vietnamese cooking before.”
The start of the pho experience begins with the boiling of large beef bones and a proprietary blend of spices for a minimum of eight to 12 hours – creating a basic pho broth that is delicious as well as nutritious. A wide variety of meats, noodles, veggies, spices and other additions can then be added to create a personalized pho. It’s a popular street food in Vietnam.
“The pho broth is delicious by itself,” said floor manager Kelly Tran-Lin. “Chicken and filet mignon are the most popular meat addition options, but there are so many possibilities.”
Indeed, Fabulous Pho offers patrons incredible variety. Beef, chicken, pork and seafood upgrades to the basic pho broth are all options. The same is true of veggies, noodles, rice and other ingredients. Pho is a unique canvas on which diners can create their own masterpiece of culinary delight.
“The pho broth is amazing,” said Kelly. “And I’m a very picky eater.”
Head chef Liem Phan learned her culinary chops in Vietnam, preparing the popular national dish since the age of 12. She immigrated to America in 1983 and has been involved in commercial cooking ever since. Earlier this year, she and her husband Thinh decided to open a restaurant dedicated to the cultural cuisine she knows so well.
Savvy diners likely know that Vietnamese cooking has many regional differences. Northern provinces prefer bunbohue pho – a spicy soup most often made with pork. Central and southern regions usually opt for a milder version prepared with beef or chicken. Whatever your preference, you can likely find it at Fabulous Pho.
“Conroe is a beautiful area with so many wonderful opportunities,” said Thinh about the couple’s decision to open up a restaurant in Montgomery County. “We are proud to be part of the community.”
And while the pho is indeed fabulous, customers can ease into the unique menu with many familiar options. The restaurant features egg and spring rolls, noodle bowls, steamed and fried rice dishes and some surprisingly tasty sandwiches.
“We also offer some wonderful fresh fruit, organic smoothies with traditional and exotic fruits,” said Kelly. “Strawberry, cantaloupe, jackfruit, watermelon and more. We also offer a unique tapioca option that adds a chewy texture to the smoothie that is quite different than what people are used to, but still delicious – and a great way to end the meal.”
In addition to enjoying the pleasant atmosphere inside the 4,000-sq.ft. Fabulous Pho restaurant, patrons can also get orders to go to enjoy this unique cuisine at home. Either way, it’s the same great food.
“Special orders aren’t a problem,” said Kelly. “We have a lot of folks who want extra meat or unique combinations that aren’t listed on the menu. We are happy to oblige.”
For a unique dining experience, take a break from burger joints and fried chicken joints and experience a delicious dining experience from the Far East at Fabulous Pho.
“Come and try it,” said Kelly. “You’ll love it.”
Fabulous Pho, a new 130-seat restaurant serving authentic Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, is located at 1406 N. Loop 336, in the Academy shopping center in Conroe. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. For information, visit them on Facebook or call 936-703-5356.