Tucked away in a strip center in Sugarland, Pho Mai noodle house with its simple menu and spacious dining room
is serving up the best Pho for miles.
There is only a handful of soups I would be satisfied eating as a standalone meal, a good French onion, Mexican
Pozole and Pho. Pho is a spicy Vietnamese rice noodle soup that is simply the most basic of dishes yet it holds a wealth of history and culture in its recipe.
When deciphering what constitutes a good noodle house, you have to look at the little things, mainly because the soup you get at one noodle house will taste fairly the same at a hundred others.
First things first when walking into a noodle house, I always check to see if they make limeade, may sound a bit strange, but it just make the flavor of the soup that much more enjoyable and having that contrast of sweet and spicy is always great.
At Pho Mai they always make there limeade to order, and it is never too sweet, there have been other places I have visited where the sugar just sits at the bottom without being mixed and you are left with a straw full of sugar crystals and water, you would think
that if millions of children can sell this stuff every summer on street corners it should be a no brainer for a full grown adult.
Though some may disagree, but the broth is what truly makes and breaks the soup. Though most places stick to pretty much the same recipe there are those few places out there that like to over do it with the spices which leaves you with indigestion in about 20 min. The broth is typically flavored with toasted coriander, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
The broth is light and yet full of flavor at Pho Mai, the seasonings have been integrated into a single flavor that is well balanced and though you may try to point out the distinct flavors, you will probably be to busy enjoying it to care.
For first time “Pho-ers” be warned, a proper Pho is served scolding hot, this is essential for the condiments; Cilantro, Basil, Mint, jalapeno, bean sprouts and limes are added to the broth by the customer, the heat from the Pho allows the condiments to steep and permeate the soup like a tea, that being said Pho is definitely something you don’t want to eat in a hurry.
Pho Mai always has fresh tasting bean sprouts and herbs, this will make the soup taste that much better in the end and texture as well. When you have a dish that relies so heavily on fresh herbs and produce being an ingredient and garnish,
because of this freshness is #1 priority at Pho Mai.
I am not
sure why I prefer it, maybe it is my Mexican pallet and willingness to eat any part of the cow, but I always ask for Pho with soft tendon, it is a tendon found in a cow that it pressure cooked to the point where it feels like a juicy hunk of cartilage, I recommend you try it at least once.
Now that all the preparations for the soup have been made, fresh herbs and produce, some soft tendon, a nice glass of ice-cold limeade, and some extra srirachi sauce you are ready to enjoy.
16200 Kensington Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479-4313