PHO PASTEUR: A solid option for pho in Boston
To me, a steaming hot bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) is one of the greatest comforts of a cold fall—or, should I say, semi-winter—day or night. Served with thin slices of rare meat, bean sprouts, onions, scallions and a splash of lime, the concoction is always a rich and satisfying one. And the plus point is that the heaping amount of vegetables makes me feel less guilty about eating a large bowl for dinner.
Enter Pho Pasteur. Having eaten pho from several locations in Boston, I can say that Pho Pasteur’s is one of the best. Delicious, quick, convenient, and inexpensive, the restaurant is definitely college-student friendly.
Although the menu offers a wide array of meat-filled and vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine, during our last visit my family and I could not resist ordering the same dish: large pho with rare steak, well-done flank, brisket, tendon, and tripe. We heeded our waiter’s recommendation and also ordered an appetizer of gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls) with chicken and a glass of taro bubble tea.
The gỏi cuốn came with a side of peanut Hoisin sauce, which was topped with crushed peanuts and shredded carrots. Filled with vermicelli, basil, lettuce, carrots and your desired meat, the rolls are quite flavorful on its own. The sauce adds a nice kick to the dish, although it is too mild for my liking. The rolls make a good light meal; they are served at room temperature and not deep-fried.
Our pho arrived just as we finished our appetizer. The serving bowls were huge, and just like most Vietnamese restaurants I have been to, the vegetables were served on a separate plate. I began eating after squeezing some lime slices and drowning an overly generous amount of bean sprouts in my broth. Verdict: the pho was quite tasty. The only downside was the rather sticky noodles.
Coming from a girl long-deprived of delicious Southeast Asian bubble teas, Pho Pasteur’s taro bubble tea was surprisingly good—I managed to finish the entire glass despite the surrounding cold of Boston’s Chinatown. The tapioca pearls had a good texture and were perfectly sweetened, and the frothy taro blend gave a sweet finish to my meal.
Despite its inconsistency in service and quality, Pho Pasteur would probably remain one of the few places in Chinatown I find myself going the most. In the meantime, I will continue to embark on my journey to find the perfect bowl of pho in Boston. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be found somewhere close to Tufts.
Food (taste): B+
Food (presentation): B+
Price: Approximately $10/person
682 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111