I like to eat and I love to try new foods. Pho is definitely new, to me…
This place appeared in Cincinnati Magazine: Pho Lang Thang is it’s name. It’s located in Downtown Cincinnati, right next to (or in, not really sure of the boundaries) Findlay Market.
The building’s facade is very unassuming and doesn’t attempt to assault your eyes in order to get you to see it. As you walk in, the decor is very trendy and (as much as I understand this word) modern. Being that I live on a weird schedule, Hannah and I got here around 4 PM for lunch, so things were quiet.
We were greeted by the bartender who stood behind the centerpiece of the restaurant. The bar is like the 2010-version of Joey Votto with the rest of place the 2010 Reds. Sure, it’s a nice team, but you’re drawn to Votto’s awesomeness. This bar really was fantastic (They also have Buffalo Trace, which is always a good thing).
The menu is pretty simple and hyper focused to Vietnamese food. No chicken fingers, no franks and beans. There’s words like Tai (steak), Nam (brisket), and something that means meatballs but the menu explains it all.
The bartender that greeted us (I regret to admit I forget here name) was awesome. She recommended the appetizer of fried spring rolls, which didn’t disappoint. I was a little skeptical when there were just two, but they were more than adequately sized and absolutely delicious. Should you visit here, you would be doing it wrong to not order these spring rolls.
Now for the Pho. I am told it’s pronounced “fu,” like the first half of a word your mother doesn’t want you to say. I, however, sometimes forget and pronounce it “foe,” but however you say it, it’s fantastic. Firstly, when they sit the bowl in front of you (it’’s kind of a soup) you notice how great it smells. It’s a lot like a bowl of ramen noodle soup, except it’s made with rice noodles. Somehow they have a slight crispness, but they are still very noodle-y. Accompanying the noodles are green onions, not-green onions, and some herbs, as well as your protein – of which you can have up to five different types in a bowl – of your choice. I’m not sure you would get fresher ingredients if you went and picked everything, yourself.
They also provide a side plate with things you can add to your Pho, such as jalapeños, cilantro, bean sprouts, and limes. I added all of that and was not disappointed. The cilantro was potent and the jalapeños hot as hell (very bright green).
Overall, Hannah and I got out of there with full bellies and less that $30 spent (note: we did not purchase any alcohol). I’d highly recommend this place the next time you’re in, or around, downtown Cincy.