“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 8:00am–10:00am

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Bellaire Chinatown
11778 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX
(281) 879-5899
Pho Ga Dakao
A chicken noodle soup that’ll make you say “pho bo who?”

We all love beefy pho bo, and given that Houston’s got the third-largest Vietnamese population in America, we have no shortage of great options in that territory. But what about the pre-French Colonial tradition of pho ga; that is, what about chicken soup? The world loves its chicken soup—nearly every culture has its own version (and this being America, we’re blessed with all of them). To try the best of Houston’s Vietnamese entry, hearken to the restaurant with it right in the name. Pho Ga Dakao is a bright, modern, clean space in a strip mall with “Chicken Noodle Soup” lit up right beneath its Vietnamese name—happily, few other concessions are made to English speakers (and don’t expect gratuitous service or anything).

The eponymous soup may not get a richness from marrowy beef bones, but if you order the one “with everything,” you get a developed, intoxicating depth from the inclusion of gizzard, heart, liver, chicken tripe, and fatty skin, as well as the hard-boiled yolk of a fertilized chicken egg. The soup’s best with just a little pepper and fresh jalapeño—too much else will mask the subtle flavors that crescendo with each slurp until you are left with a resonant and complete harmony that you won’t be able to get out of your head. There are other items—like a salad with shredded chicken, sprouts, cabbage, fried crispy shallots, and rice noodles that’s outstanding with a little nuoc mam—but honestly, we rarely get past the soup.

Be the first to leave a comment…