The Food Insulter is Back in Action…

27Jul09

It has been a while since my last post. I recently graduated from college, started a new job, and needless to say, have had a lot on my plate over the past couple of months. Though frankly, I have just been straight up lazy as of late (at least in terms of my food blogging)! There are a large number of culinary encounters I could speak of since the last time I have updated this site. Though instead of writing about one specific restaurant or meal, I have decided to write about a variety of things I simply would like to talk about, encapsulating hopefully, my recent relationship with food.

 I have to say, one of the most important restaurants in my life is one which I have written about previously – the quaint, unassuming, hole in the wall, amazingly delicious Vietnamese prize of an establishment – Pho Huong. I am proud to say that my friends and I are now regulars at Pho Huong, which we simply and affectionately refer to as Pho (pronounced fuh). Since the first time we dined at Pho, my love for Vietnamese food was born. Additionally, since that first eye-opening experience, I have been motivated to try a wide variety of not just Vietnamese food, though Asian food in general (albeit I was already a serious lover of Japanese cuisine). In addition to Vietnamese, I have recently fallen in love with Thai food. Having once been the boy who hated curry and feared what it would do to his stomach, I have transformed into the man that will taste every curry imaginable, one who loves to cook, eat, discuss, and think curry. That though, is for another time…

pho huong

 I don’t know a better, more elegant word to describe Pho Huong than awesome. This place truly is, awesome. Now, maybe it’s not the fanciest place I have ever dinned in, maybe their menu is not quite as diverse as I once dreamed, though these are the things that I love about Pho Huong. This is a place that you can walk in at any time, any day of the week, expect to be seated within 5 minutes and have an exotic, delicious, exciting, and inexpensive meal in front of you in what seems like no time. I have never ordered anything from Pho Huong that I have not adored. They are as consistent as they are authentic – great food, highly personal atmosphere, fast, cheap – no bull. This place is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a causal dinner with friends, quick take out after work, or a romantic meal with a significant other. If there is one restaurant in Vermont that I can call home it is most certainly Pho Huong. I hope that this establishment continues to experience the great success they seem to be enjoying. The family owned and operated Vietnamese culinary gem is really a treat – a dream for someone who loves to try new and exciting food, in a comfortable setting without breaking the bank.

 Now even after experiencing the joys of Pho Huong a couple of times, naturally, I wondered if other Vietnamese restaurants can offer the same that I have come to expect from PH. We have tried other Vietnamese places, Pho Deng in Winooski, Vietnam Restaurant II, in Burlington (gotta love a painfully simple name for an establishment) among others. These places were, suffice it to say bad, in comparison to Pho Huong. More expensive, obnoxiously overdone (or hauntingly dingy) atmospheres these other, less authentic Vietnamese operations are plainly not as good as PH. Now I can’t say that I’ve been to every Vietnamese joint in Vermont, hell not even close to all in the Burlington area. But I can wholeheartedly tell you that I never want to try another as long as I am in Burlington – as long as Pho Huong is still cranking out the delicious joys that they continually bring to my friends and I. There’s no point, I’d simply be setting myself up for dissatisfaction. For everyone who is reading this, and if you are you probably have, go out and try some Pho Huong – you will not be disappointed.

 Menu Suggestions:

#15, Bun Thit Nuong (Pork Vermicelli) Thinly Sliced Char-Grilled Pork with Egg Rolls. Served Over Rice Vermicelli. Sprinkled with Crushed Peanuts.

 # 5,Pho Tai (Beef Noodle Soup) Thinly Sliced Flank Steaks with Rice Noodles in Beef Broth

 Everybody Get Your Roll On….

 Now, onward to a much more pressing issue in my life…VERMONT SIMPLY DOES NOT COMPREHEND WHAT MAKES AND WHAT IS A GOOD HOAGIE ROLL! And if you don’t know what a hoagie roll is, then shame on you. If it makes you a little more comfortable, a hoagie roll is (sigh) a sub roll, though infused with all that is great about Philadelphia. Hoagie rolls cannot be obtained in Vermont, without of course, placing a large order to one of our beloved Hoagie manufacturers in Philadelphia i.e. Amoroso’s Rolls (http://amorosobaking.com/) – something which I have often contemplated doing. I have been struggling through this painful void in my sandwich life for 4 years now, and needless to say it has been tough. But, alas, just only a couple of weeks ago, upon stumbling on this great little Thai market down the street from my house I discovered something amazing…

 After browsing through the aisles of That Phat, the market which I now frequent, I noticed a container full of rolls sitting next to some bins of assorted fruits. Upon inspecting the rolls, I picked up a bag, looked at them, felt them, and was in awe about how they resemble my estranged hoagie roll. It’s been a long and painful search all over the state of Vermont to find something that I can put my deli meat on – and I couldn’t wait to unpack these babies and load them up with some turkey, mustard, and Muenster cheese. After grabbing a few other things to buy (curry paste, baby bok choy, a chicken heart here and there, ect.) we went to the counter to pay. Still brimming with anticipation and holding these seem to be hoagie-esque rolls in my hand, I inquired to the cashier where these rolls came from. With a big smile, and broken English, the guy looked at my girlfriend and I and said “Oh yeeeah, we get from Boston. Nothing like that around here. Very good“. Ha! This guy gets it. He has felt my pain! He knows what it is like to eat a sandwich on some real freaking good bread, and he was lucky enough to be in a position to do something about it – to order these rolls, and have a great impact on his, and my life! Jacqui and I just looked at one another and laughed (she knows from my incessant complaining how I loath the bread in Vermont). I went home a happy man, and suffice it to say I was even happier when I tasted that wonderful, fresh, delicious bread. Yes. One of my many concerns is no longer a problem (now if I could only watch the Phillies every night, buy some Yuengling from Pearl St. Beverage, and get a real cheesesteak I could consider never going home – just kidding, I love you Philadelphia!

 I do feel that I should elaborate on the whole Vermont bread issue. Vermont bread, for the most part is actually pretty good. There are tons of local, artisan bakeries around who produce some really tasty stuff. You can find a wide variety of these delicious artesian breads at most super markets or farmers/specialty markets. Though, whenever you order a sandwich (in hoagie or sub form), you receive one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Just go ask anyone who has ever gotten a sandwich from Kountry Kart Deli (except Vermonters, for they know no better). The sandwich always comes on this bread – this horrible, ugly, super-soft, spongy, white, tasteless, small, inadequate bread. The Vermont-style hoagie is a sandwich on an elongated hot dog roll, utterly unfathomable for any self respecting Philadelphia who has ever tasted Amororso’s – simply not OK. Now, if one wants a sandwich on some good artesian bread, which I myself enjoy from time to time, that’s fair. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some joker who asks if I “would like sprouts” call it a hoagie (or a sub, or a hero, or an anything but what it is – straight garbage)!

Pho Huong Rating (Revised): 5-phones

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2 Responses to “The Food Insulter is Back in Action…”

  1. 1 whats4lunch

    Yuengling – Yes, why don’t we have this brew in VT?

  2. Hey very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .
    . I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?
    I’m happy to search out numerous helpful information right here within the submit, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .


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