Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pho 75 - Rockville, MD

A couple weeks ago I met my dad for our bi-weekly Sunday lunch at Pho 75. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Pho, it is a rice noodle soup in beef broth with beef toppings.

Pho (pronounced 'Fuh') 75 is located in Rockville close to Montgomery College. The closest metro stop would be Rockville on the Red Line. Since it located in a shopping center there is free parking, however it is very limited. The shopping center can get crowded due to other restaurants and the fact that 7-11 and Radio Shack reserved about 1/3 of the lot. Pho 75 is (in a way) a fast food joint, so be patient because people are constantly in and out.

I've been to this place many times, and it is usually packed during lunch on both weekdays and weekends. It's a fairly small place whose main focus isn't the decor but the food. There are long communal tables in the middle and smaller tables on the perimeter. The utensils and sauces are already on the table in a holder. Some pho restaurants will offer other entrees or appetizers other than pho, but at Pho 75 that is their only dish along with some drink and dessert options.

As you can tell by the wall it has been recognized as a very tasty Pho restaurant in the area by Washingtonian Magazine and others.

Pho 75 is also a cash only restaurant, so make sure you go to the bank/ATM or have a friend spot you. They also collect your payment at their front register instead of at the table. Once at the register you kind of point to where you were sitting and some of the things you ordered, and they'll pull up your bill. I don't know how they keep track when it's packed in there, but I guess they have a system.

When ordering you have a small bowl option for $5.95 or the large option for $6.95. Let me say that the Large is in a HUGE bowl!
They have prefixed meat options to choose from or you can choose your own from their choices. They have options like tripe, tendon, raw meat, different cuts of cooked beef, or Vietnamese 'meatballs'. They also offer a chicken version. 

I chose a small bowl with 'Tai' which is the slices of uncooked beef that cook in the hot broth on the way to your table. I love it because it keeps the meat very tender. The noodles and broth are amazing. There are 2 types of Pho noodles, thin (like these) or thicker. Personally I like the thinner ones and the chewy texture is just to die for. Their broth is what makes their Pho so popular. I feel that it has the most authentic 'home made' flavor, and doesn't taste one-noted.

Another helpful note when ordering is to know what you want before you get there, haha. It really is Vietnamese fast food. Once you sit down the guy hands you a menu and pretty much expects you to order within 5 seconds. This is probably because they frequent so many regulars that just spit out their normal 'Large #1 with an Iced Coffee' without needing to see a menu.

Every group of orders comes with a plate of 'fixens' including raw bean sprouts, lime, Vietnamese basil, cilantro and jalapenos.

On the table there are a few sauces. A red hot sauce, a brown sauce called Hoisin which is made from beans, and vinegar. Personally I enjoy putting hot sauce, Hoisin sauce, lime, cilantro and basil into my soup.

Along with my meal I always order an Iced Vietnamese coffee with Condensed Milk for $ 2.25. It comes with a glass of ice and your own personal coffee dripper. Inside of the mug is condensed milk and the coffee drips slowly into the mug...

...Give it a few minutes before removing the entire coffee dripper. Then stir the coffee and condensed milk together and pour it over ice. It's a VERY strong coffee, so the ice helps dilute it a bit.

Out of all of the Pho places I've tried in the area, this is my favorite. Since Pho is the only thing they serve, they were able focus on the one dish and make it amazing.
I would recommend it if you're in the mood for something quick and warm. It's not a place for a private/intimate meal since you could be sharing a table with other people. It's a great place to come with friends because it's very affordable and your Pho will come out a few minutes after you order it. Beware of the food coma that can come with eating Pho, so ordering a coffee to counteract it helps me at least.

771 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Hours - 9am-8pm - 7 Days a week

Pho 75 - Rockville on Urbanspoon


LadyJane said...

Mmm. I want some Pho now haha. My bf LOVES the coffee but it's way too strong for me.

Chris & Angel's Wedding said...

I can't wait to visit..I've been looking for a good place for Pho! Thanks!

Lick My Spoon said...

mmm love love love pho! i always think that ordering a vietnamese coffee will help stave off the food coma too...but it never does :)

happy belated bday!

Ruffian said...

I must have been at pho 75 like 3 times this month already. Marie, if you're ever around my way you gotta try this Pho place right next to the LOTTE asian super market. It's got pho, rice dishes, viet subs, AND bubble tea. I brought Mai and Tai there and they both loved the place. Check it!



Dskco said...

Chris & Angel - Let me know if you ever try it!

Ian - Thanks for the suggestion bro, that's a big menu!