By Matt Starlight
For a long time, Vietnamese food has been a presence in Baton Rouge, but it seems only recently one dish in particular has caught on in a big way. Pho shops are popping up all over town and all of the sudden everyone knew exactly what this was except for me. Being the adventurous food critic that I am, this was a welcome endeavor that took me into the heart of the unknown.
That’s a bit dramatic. But, I can say that my first pho experience was more than pleasant thanks to Little Saigon.
For those not so blissfully unaware, pho is Vietnamese noodle soup that’s usually made of broth, garnishes, noodles, and meat. Where the shops take it from there is entirely up to them, but this particular bowl was a combo of rice noodle soup, with rare beef, brisket, meatball, and tripe, which is cow stomach. It sounds…adventurous, but is actually quite delicious.
All the beef was cooked just right and when allowed to simmer in the noodle soup, it’s flavor is enhanced, but not overpowered. This method of presenting meat allows it to breathe in ways other culinary escapades can’t, making pho a prime option for meat lovers.
With plenty of leafy garnishes thrown in for texture on top of the linguine-shaped rice noodles (called bánh), Little Saigon’s pho is destined to become Baton Rouge’s newest food craze as anyone on a diet or with a hankering for authentic, exotic cuisine flocks to one of the best spots in the city.