Stuck in traffic in the Loop and hungry for dinner, I could only throw out familiar restaurants when asked where we should go for dinner. JMK or the Rose, maybe? Or whatever? Shane conveyed this to Jenn, who then suggested that we try a new Asian restaurant in downtown Rockford that she and Bill had checked out for their anniversary a few weeks earlier. Despite getting a bajillion mosquito bites between the four of us, I’m glad we went with her suggestion! My suggestion to sit outside may have been less wise, and for that I apologize to my poor itchy siblings.
photo by Mr. Wright
We have gone entirely too long without trying pho. I would blame this on living in middle America, but with a lovely noodle bar open on campus and several Asian restaurants proudly advertising their pho, we really have no excuse. After puzzling over the menu at Bamboo for entirely too long tonight, I settled on the pho with pork meatball and shrimp. Mark got the same, but with different meats. And as soon as our bowls arrived, we were the envy of everyone.
Pho might not seem like the most logical choice for a hot summer’s night – a big bowl of fragrant broth with noodles and tender meat that you top with an assortment of fresh garnishes – but it was warm in a good way – nourishing and comforting without making me overheated. Mark made his hot and spicy with sriracha, while I added hoisin sauce for sweetness. The whole experience – receiving the oversized bowl, adding the bean sprouts and lime, fishing out meatballs with chopsticks and a spoon – reminded me of Tampopo, as it absolutely should.
Having had my fill of delicious broth and noodles, I can’t wait to try pho again once the weather cools off a bit and I can wrap myself in an aromatic blanket of Asian food. That made absolutely no sense, but if you’ve had pho, you know what I mean.