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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 9:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 9:00am–11:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

3565 W. Walnut St.
Garland, TX
(972) 487-6666
Pho Bang
Scrumptious broth with whichever scrumptious meat floats your boat

You could say that Pho Bang is short on atmosphere. Tucked away in an uninspiring strip mall, few concessions are made towards décor or comfort. However, come when it’s busy and you’ll get a taste of southeast Asia—fast pace, close quarters with other diners, and little English (the younger members of the waitstaff are fluent though). As the restaurant’s name would suggest, Vietnamese noodle soup is the best choice here.

The menu presents a seemingly endless list of options, but basically it boils down to which of the six forms of beef you’d like in your soup. Get them all. It’s too difficult to choose between slightly chewy, just-rare slices of steak, fall-apart tender slices of well-done brisket, and flavorful flank. And who can say no to the light, springy meatballs? Two less obvious choices offer amazing textural contrast—the delicate crunch of thin-slivered bible tripe, or the luxurious mouth feel of tendon, slowly transformed from tough collagen into a solid glob of rich beefy gelatin.

The broth itself is rich, vaguely murky and slightly sweet, but can be customized with the standard array of condiments including basil and the cilantro-esque saw-leaf herb, chilies, and sauces. The thin rice noodles are lackluster but pleasant enough. While you wait for your order, be sure to try the delicious and refreshing salted lime soda, Vietnam’s traditional answer to electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks.

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