Tuesday, June 20, 2006

popcorn and pho

This is the beginning of the end. As of yesterday, Mr. Cupcake is now on call for work which means long nights or long weekends. To celebrate this non joyous occasion, Mr. Cupcake and I went out on Friday night for dinner and a movie. We saw "Water" which was playing at the Aquarius Theatre in Palo Alto. If you think your life is depressing, go see this movie, and I'm sure you'll suddenly feel like your life is full of sunshine and bunnies compared to what these women go through.

Anyway, we ended up indulging in what I thought was going to be a popcorn dinner. Seriously, a large bucket is just too much for two people, but somehow we managed to eat the whole thing. Not to mention Mr. Cupcake fell prey to their, "just pay a little extra and get more junk!" scam. We also ended up with a big bag of Skittles in addition to the large popcorn and soda. I was stuffed afterwards, but Mr. Cupcake was still in the mood for dinner. So, we made our way to Pho Vi Hoa in Los Altos.

I have had Vietnamese food on my mind lately. A couple of weeks ago, we had dinner at Pho Hoa in Mountain View with SK and CI. It was a last minute thing, so no pictures for you. I know people frown upon the stuff at Pho Hoa because it's a chain and blah blah blah, but I consider myself an equal opportunist. I had the pork vermicelli bowl with a fried egg roll and I thought it was pretty good. It was good enough to make me crave more Vietnamese.

Moving on, the outside of Pho Vi Hoa is decorated in neon so it's easy to spot off of El Camino near San Antonio Rd. It was about 9:30pm and the place was bumping. I was still full from my popcorn dinner, but I forced myself to get ready for round two. I'm good like that.

Mr. Cupcake ordered the pho with meatballs and eye of roundsteak. His order came out first. I tried the broth not really expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful it was. SK says it's all in the broth and she's not kidding. It was really good!

Mr. Cupcake then added the basil, lime, and peppers, and the broth just got better. I mean, I was already happy with the way it tasted when it came out, so the fact it improved is all the more exciting. My exposure to pho has been limited if you couldn't tell. Most of my experiences have been nothing more than meh. However, for the first time, I loved it. Mr. Cupcake had pho at Pho Hoa, and he said the pho was bland in comparison to this stuff.

A few minutes later, our appetizer showed up. The spring rolls were good. They were stuffed with shrimp, pork, and noodles. The serving size was generous, and I ate them in a hurry. I had found my second wind.

We waited patiently for my dish to come out. I'm non original, and ordered the same vermicelli bowl that I had at Pho Hoa. It arrived a little bit after our appetizer. It looked and smelled really good, so I was excited to dig in. I poured the "diluted lime sauce" over it and mixed it up. Unfortunately, I wasn't super impressed. The pork was very salty and the noodles felt oily. The salt was too overpowering, and I ended up just digging for the lettuce and sneaking slurps of Mr. Cupcake's pho.

Our total cost was just over $23 including the tip. Even though my dish was less than stellar, I'm excited to go back to Pho Vi Hoa. Supposedly, this place is just okay in the way of Vietnamese food in the South Bay. Apparently there are even better places in San Jose. I'm going to have to explore. However, it's nice to know there's some really great pho near where I live.

1 comment:

Jaye said...

Movie poporn AND pho, you lucky thing you! I especially love the pho with meatballs and the way you captured the fat glistening on the surface. Reminds me of the old garlic soup tale.

Gonna have to stop off and get some pho tonight!