Friday, February 11, 2011

Pho Pasteur, Chinatown, Boston

Not so long ago I talked about my growing love affair with Pho.  I waxed on about the delicious flavors, the spice, the herbal accompaniment, the idea of replicating this all at home...and failing.  However, due to my own laziness, I had only indulged my frequent cravings at a single place outside my kitchen, Pho Lemongrass.  Of course, I was doing myself a big disservice.  How could I know the real joys of Pho, my beloved broth-based soup, if I hadn't sampled others take on it?  I have finally rectified that problem by visiting Pho Pasteur, located right on Washington Street in the Chinatown district of Boston.

Pho Pasteur is a family owned operation, touting their message "Customer Commitment First" loud and clear.  I was excited to learn if those words were just easy to type on their website, or if they truly upheld the goal as stated. 

Larger than my beloved Pho Lemongrass, and with a more industrial feel to it, it was clear that turnover was high at Pho Pasteur, and they were ready for crowds.  The staff was organized and efficient, obvious that their concentration was fully on the task at hand, rather than more social activities like chit chatting, or laughing at the idiot requests that I had for them.  That was fine by me- I just wanted my Pho!

In keeping with my traditional order, I went with Rare Steak Pho, which was served with the usual accompaniments of Sriracaha Sauce, hoison sauce, and the undetermined secondary hot sauce that never seems to come with a name on it.  The wonderful plate filled with cut lime wedges, bean sprouts and beautiful Thai Basil was delivered, and the anticipation for glorious Pho mounted.  Finally the soup was delivered.  

Before me was set a steaming bowl of beef broth, littered with finely sliced onions, cilantro and scallions.  In the middle of this bowl of goodness sat a pile of rice noodles and was topped with beautiful slices of rare steak.  This is what I love about rare beef Pho...when you shift the slices off of the pile, and dunk them beneath the piping hot broth they cook through, but remain tender and delicious.  While the accompaniments, and the ingredients appeared the same, the broth was what set this bowl apart.  Clear, rich in color, the broth was much cleaner tasting than other Pho I have enjoyed.   It was obvious to me that the chef at Pho Pasteur took special attention with his stock.  It had deeper flavor, and richer qualities.  The prominence of ingredients used to make the stock shown through, and it was one that I could have eaten alone.  It forever amazes me how the old saying that "the secret ingredient is love" makes itself clear time and again-a little extra time and attention can be the difference of a dish being same old same old- or really singing.  Their attention to detail held true throughout the dish I found, in placing the perfect amount of noodles in the bowl, to slicing the onions so paper thin they blended in with the noodles in harmony.

Pho Pasteur definitely made me even crazier for Pho, and excited to try even more new places for the piping hot bowl of soup.  They definitely hold true to their word, and are keeping their "customer commitment first".  Pho Pasteur, I will be back!   

Pho Pasteur on Urbanspoon


The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Really loved it here...totally going back, and soon!

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked Pho Pasteur. To me, it doesn't rate nearly as high as its neighbor Xinh Xinh or Pho Viet's over at Super 88. Next time you are free I will take you to Xinh Xinh!!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

My husband loooves Pho Pasteur and I've become a big fan as well. We go to Le's a lot in Harvard Sq (formerly PP). Glad you had such a great meal!

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