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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
8.0
6.5
$15
Vietnamese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 9:00am–9:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

www.pho-hung.com

Southeast Portland
4717 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland, OR
(503) 775-3170
Pho Hung
Safe ground for new pho fans

In the pho world, you never see websites. Nor dining rooms that are both clean and pretty (it’s relative). Pho Hung features both, as well as a glowing sign high in the sky. It calls to us on rainy, dark days.

So it’s located between Pho Vans, which is never a triumphant thing, as Pho Van’s broth is a pretty strong contender; but it’s far enough from the exemplary Pho An Sandy and Pho Oregon to end any possible detour discussions. Pho Hung’s broth is good in its own right, with a beefy depth, but it doesn’t quite go into that intoxicating realm of anise and clove that we get from the city’s top phos. Bun is also pretty good here, served with generous helpings of bean sprouts, basil, mint, and lime. A barbecue pork and shrimp version is especially uplifting on a hot day, when the refreshing and vivid flavors perk up the blood.

But back to that nice décor issue—something about the studied track lighting here makes it unsurprising (but no less discouraging) to see the menu divide its pho up into “For Beginners” and “Adventurer’s Choice.” It’s kind of wishy-washy. We prefer to have our tripe and tendon laid out with an authentic nonchalance; like, hey Westerners, get over it. Maybe for this reason, bun bo Hue has no mention of congealed pork blood. Everything feels rounded off for mass appeal, which means it loses its appeal to hardcore Vietnamese-food lovers.

But if you’re just here for some noodle soup and vermicelli bowls, you won’t be disappointed. Vegetarians won’t have much to do here; salad rolls are appropriately named—they taste like lettuce (and the sweet-spicy peanut sauce you dip them in). Vegetable noodle soups are much less flavorful.

No, sorry. This is strictly for meat eaters and beef-broth slurpers. Especially those lost between Pho Vans and too far south for the best.

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