Originally Posted by impolyt_one
There's good pho in random spots that people wouldn't think of. It obviously depends on where vietnamese people live, but since the catholic churches sponsored many Vietnamese people to come to the US in the '70's and then kinda let them loose, there are enclaves all over the US. The Midwest is dotted with Viet enclaves with good food, Kansas City might be the strongest after Southern California and southern Texas. As far as ethnic food goes, Viet food can be a strong-showing ethnic cuisine when it comes to remote locations. There are obviously a couple specific herbs like thai basil and optionally ngo gai (growable at home and/or also shared amongst a few ethnicities) and spices (same) that go into really good, well-made and presented pho, but the backbone of the soup is plain beef bones or chicken, and the pho noodles, fish and chili sauces, are dry goods. Other dishes beyond pho are the same story. A lot of Asian food is like this actually, 90% can be bought at a local wal-mart and the rest is special stuff that is like 2 fresh herbs and a few dry goods from an ethnic store, the only reason it ever shows badly is if the target market isn't their own ethnicity.
Agree completely. No experience making it outside my kitchen, however the freshest herbs always do it. For me anyways, as does presentation, quantity. And the environs. Always the environs. Hopefully authentic, not necessarily a plastic seat on the side Of the road, although they're nice too.