Taking advantage of a lighter day due to a cancelled class, I ventured into downtown Towson with my sight set on Pho Dat Thanh. Although Orlando has a renowned little Vietnam district, I must admit that in my nine years of residency there that I never got a taste of the authentic Vietnamese cuisine served up by mom and pop shops. Hundreds of miles away from home, my visit to Pho Dat Thanh would serve as my formal introduction to the cuisine and magic of big bowl of pho.
First, to set the record straight, I figured I'd explain a little more about pho for the uninitiated. A traditional Vietnamese street food, this simple noodle soup features rice noodles, herbs, and meat in a steaming, fragrant broth. Variations can occur from preparation to preparation, but this four ingredient base is reliable found.
Once seated and given Pho Dat Thanh's extensive menu that features over 100 items, I quickly became overwhelmed. Inquiring about gluten and dairy-free options, the number of items I could choose from quickly narrowed to the beef broth-based phos (nine options) or rice noodle soups in chicken broth.
Sticking with my plan to sample pho, I selected the pho ga, which featured chicken breast in the broth. On the side of each pho bowl is a small dish laden with bean sprouts, hot peppers, fresh basil leaves and a couple slices of lime.
In fine print, I noticed that the bowl came in the large size only and when it arrived at my table, I was impressed by the voluminous bowl. After doctoring it up with the accompanying ingredients I sipped, slurped, and chopstick-ed my way through the big bowl of comfort food. Despite my doubts at the onset that I would finish it all, I soon found myself with an empty bowl and happy, full stomach.
Although I am not taking economics, my lunch proved to be a good investment as spending $6.75 for a supremely satisfying meal that lasted me the rest of the day keept me full and my college student budget in tact. I have seriously considered making the trek into Towson again for another steaming bowl before I head home. I will consider this only the first of many more bowls of pho to come in my future both here and at home, and look forward to each and every steaming one.
Website: Pho Dat Thanh's Yelp page
Cuisine: Vietnamese pho and other specialty items
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: Most items priced between $5-$10.
Accessibility: Easily wheelchair accessible
Special Features: Delivery available through Carry Out Menu. $20 minimum.
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the bakery directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.