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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 8:30am–9:00pm
Fri–Sat 8:30am–10:00pm

Features Wi-Fi
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Far North Austin
11220 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 837-7800
Pho Danh
If Pho Saigon’s crowded with crying kids, come across the street

Holding strong beneath 183 is one of our top pho games in town, Pho Van, and a little farther up Lamar, in the Chinatown shopping center, Pho Saigon dukes it out for the title. But squint beneath the oaks across the street for Pho Danh, hidden in a generic, brand-spanking-new strip mall that appears to house only drab furniture stores. It’s high-tech and shiny inside, with a couple of flatscreen TVs that—in a Total Recall-ish way—play a slideshow of the menu items. Faux-granite tables and stainless-steel aside, the very attentive staff clad in similarly colored T-shirts is warm and welcoming.

The bun and spring rolls are about as good as at Pho Saigon, but where does the soup fit into Austin’s pho pecking order (which can sometimes seem determined by personal feeling instead of execution)?

The broth is properly beefy and sweet-salty. It’s a little more hit-you-over-the-head than Saigon’s, and not as complex as Pho Van’s. Some meats are better here, though; if you live for fatty brisket, this one has less inedible yellow fat on its cuts. Eye round is decent (better ordered rare on the side), but the meatballs are run through with cartilage and have no flavor. It’s a perfectly decent bowl of pho—better, if you want to avoid the family crowds and indulge your inner tech nerd.

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