Fall season is pho season. I hardly eat pho because I have a sensitivity to sodium just like the rest of my family. (Lactose intolerant and sodium sensitive — two major life fails for a foodie! Ha! Ha!) While I can eat pho, ramen and soup every single day, they are really just occasional treats for me. Despite these dietary restrictions, I still get to satisfy my cravings by making these noodle soups at home. Check out my Super-Easy Rotisserie Chicken Miso Ramen recipe. I also learned how to make pho at home. It might not be as tasty as the authentic soups at restaurants but it has the flavors of star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc that I crave minus the salt as well as MSG which is typically used in many Asian dishes.
Mr Sweetie and I ended up at Monster Pho which is our neighborhood Vietnamese pho restaurant because I had a stomachache after eating my sister-in-law’s homemade roasted chili peppers in olive oil. The roaster peppers were so spicy delicious and I was putting them on everything until I got an upset tummy. Hot noodle soups are the best for digestive ailments.
It has been a while since we have been to Monster Pho. Monster Pho serves traditional Vietnamese comfort food such as pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soups), rice plates, vermicelli dishes (noodles, meat/veggies, eggrolls with a side of fish sauce), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches, etc. The owners hail from Vietnam and arrived in Oakland as immigrants. This place is therefore legit.
Mr Sweetie and I went for the pho. I chose tripe, tendon and brisket as the three beef items for my soup. The funny thing is I ordered the large bowl ($10.50) while Mr Sweetie had the regular bowl ($9.50). Usually, I have the small bowl while he gets the big order. The large bowl was humongous with lots of noodles but I am proud to say that I finished it — broth, noodles and meats! The broth was also very tasty.
We also ordered fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce and chicken fried potstickers ($7 each) for our appetizers. Actually, now I remember that he ate all the appetizers. I did not want any because I just wanted my soup because of my upset stomach.
It was a fun and cozy casual date night. It was food coma for us but the heartwarming pho was perfect on that chilly Saturday evening.
(Monster Pho has two locations — Oakland and few miles always in Emeryville.)