Vietnamese

451. Pho Lucky – December 15, 2019 – Detroit, MI

December2019PhoLucky1 (2)December2019PhoLucky3 (2)December2019PhoLucky2 (2)A gloomy, chilly winter’s day is SO the ideal time to enjoy a steaming bowl of pho. Let Pho Lucky be the facilitator of that experience for you!

I visited Pho Lucky’s Detroit location on a Sunday afternoon in mid-December. I was excited to learn that the restaurant located on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit has it own free parking area; it’s behind the restaurant, noted by signs. HOORAY to this rarity of free parking downtown!

Once sat at a table inside the restaurant, I appreciated Pho Lucky’s long, window-lined dining room offering up views of the cityscape outside and what natural light was to be had at the moment. I scoped out the menu and was tempted by photos of Pho Lucky’s vermicelli bowls, laden as they were with plentiful portions of meat and noodles topped with lettuce, herbs, bean sprouts, peanuts, and green onion.

But I had come for Pho Lucky’s signature dish, the pho, and I knew I’d be disappointed if I left without trying it. So I turned my attention away from the vermicelli bowls and rice plates and onto its namesake dish.

Pho Lucky offers twelve different varieties of pho at its Detroit location. It defines the popular Vietnamese dish on its menu as “served in a bowl of clear beef broth, with thinly sliced rare eye round steak, cooked beef, meat balls, tendon and beef tripes; alongside húng quế (Asian basil), cilantro, lime, bean sprouts, hoisin sauce and siracha.” Yum, yum, and yum!

I didn’t opt for the pho variety that contains all of those aforementioned meats, the House Special – mostly because I haven’t yet been able to convince myself to try tripe (game to make this a 2020 culinary goal, Self?). Instead, I ordered the P4, the Phở Tái, Chín, Bò Viên. This pho contained the rare eye round steak, cooked beef, and beef meat balls.

The meal came out quickly, a bountiful, steaming bowl of broth loaded with meat and noodles and accompanied by a plate piled with bean sprouts, Asian basil, fresh sliced jalapeño, and a lime wedge.

I squeezed some lime juice into the pho, generously topped it with add-ons, and took my first bite. It was delicious! With its warm broth, hearty meats, ample rice noodles (long and ideal for slurping!), and fresh veggie toppings, I was all about Pho Lucky’s pho. For good measure, I added in hearty amounts of sriracha (because no dish can ever be too spicy in my book!).

Facing the chill outdoors was more bearable as I left Pho Lucky with a full stomach, ample leftovers, and a warmed spirit (successful new-place visits always bring on the warm-and-fuzzies for me!). Regardless of time of year, this Vietnamese restaurant is worth a visit – but oh, how satisfying its namesake dish is during these gray-skied winter days!

3111 Woodward Ave.

Detroit, MI 48201

(with additional locations in Novi, Redford, and Southfield)

www.pholucky.net

209. Pho Tai – November 26, 2016 – Madison Heights, MI

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Pho Tai’s beef Pattani curry dish

Hello, everyone! I hope you are doing excellently on this Thursday and first day of December! Can you believe we’re in the last month of the year already? I definitely cannot. The holiday season is a wonderful time, but it’s a hectic time, and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it. I’ve got to eeeease into it. I’ve got to simplify it. Online shopping and saying no to invites that don’t thrill me are my staple survival mechanisms at this time of year. And cookies – lots and lots of holiday cookies!

Saying yes to things that I love – such as exploring – is another way I keep myself sane. Last weekend, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to get out and try a new-to-me restaurant when I went bridal dress shopping in Madison Heights with my friend whose upcoming wedding I’ll be in (she didn’t find The Dress, but hopefully soon!). Afterwards, we lunched at a wonderful locally-owned establishment, Pho Tai.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Madison Heights boasts a plethora of restaurants and markets that are Asian-influenced, with Vietnamese and Thai cuisines especially represented. Pho Tai is a hybrid – it offers dishes from both ethnicities! So decisions, decisions when you dine there! Do you want pho, with its delicious slurpy brothiness and long noodles, or Pad Thai, with that irresistible spiciness and crushed peanuts? A pork vermicelli bowl or Drunken Noodles? Enticing choices abound!

After much deliberation, I went with a Thai dish, Pattani, with beef, a coconut curry sauce, a variety of vegetables (including my absolute fave, baby corn – LOVE those cuties!), cashews, and rice. It was excellent! My only critique is that I asked for the spice level to be hot, and from my perspective, it was definitely more of a medium. I like my spicy food SPICY! I want my tongue to burn and my nose to run; I’m one of those people. I’ve gotta think that Pho Tai’s kitchen can offer up that kind of power, but maybe that heat level is categorized under another designation, such as “extra hot.” Regardless, the coconut curry sauce had great flavor – and I’m sure my digestive track was happy I didn’t get the intensity I wanted!

Service was great at Pho Tai; our waitress was very pleasant and present, and our food arrived quickly. Prices were reasonable, too. Worth mentioning: Pho Tai offers alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and liquor). Helpful to know, right? When you need respite from the chaos of the season, ducking into this joint for some hearty, flavorful sustenance is a much-recommended remedy.

30577 Dequindre Rd.

Madison Heights, MI 48071

www.photaimi.com