Such was the case a few days after cousin Q's older brother's wedding. He was leaving for his honeymoon late that evening. Cousin T and her husband were flying back up to Oregon that afternoon. So we decided on Pho Super Bowl Vietnamese Cuisine in Alhambra since we were converging from three different places. After splitting up the calls to round-up the clan, we ended up with a dozen people.
While I was waiting for them to pull together two big tables to accommodate us, I noticed at the artwork on the wall. Of course, my awful photos don't do the real photos any justice. The photographer is Tony Nguyen Campobello of TNC Fotos in case anyone's interested.
The regular-sized bowl is $4.75, super bowl is $5.25, special super bowl with all the meats is $5.95.
So what exactly makes this a "super bowl"? There's more add-ins than I've ever seen at any other pho restaurant. For purists, you can still get your basic Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) with various cuts of beef or Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup). There's also seafood, shrimp, and vegetarian pho. Or you can add in broccoli, tofu, and/or charbroiled chicken or beef. The kid's meal option includes a small soft drink. The options are mind-boggling, aren't they? Do they use peanuts in their broth? Because there's no add-in price beside it.
Cousin T ordered Bun Thit Nuong, Tom, Cha Gio (Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Beef, Shrimp, and Egg Rolls) for $5.25. Her quick verdict? Good, but the shrimp was a bit overcooked and dry.
Cousin E ordered grilled beef with rice for $4.75.
Cousin Q's older brother ordered pho ga with charbroiled chicken. I thought they'd shred the grilled chicken into the soup, thus bringing a smoky flavor to the broth. Serving it on the side just seems anti-climatic.
My brother got the regular size bowl of pho bo, which was rather small. Everyone else did too. Yeah, we're all purists.
Guess I'm a pig because I ordered the special super bowl. The bowl itself actually wasn't that large, but it was chock-full of lots of meat and noodles. The broth, if you'll notice, was murky and an odd brownish-gray. It tasted fine, but after eating three-quarters of the bowl, the color seemed to get the best of me.
We got free dessert - che dau xanh (Vietnamese mung bean pudding with tapioca pearls).
Pho Super Bowl was alright. I think it occupies this huge middling tier of just good restaurants for me. Neither a place I'd specifically crave, but I wouldn't turn down an invite to it.
The prices are very reasonable, service was very good, and the waiters all speak English. I could see non-Vietnamese customers being attracted to their non-traditional pho offerings. If you're looking for seafood or vegetarian pho, or want lots of add-ons, then this will probably be more to your liking.
Are you a pho purist?
Is it just my family? Who with and how do you go out and eat?
Other restaurants along Main St./Las Tunas Dr.:
Aji Man Japanese Restaurant - San Gabriel
Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant - San Gabriel
Luscious Dumplings Inc. - San Gabriel
Vietnam House Restaurant - San Gabriel
Vietnam Restaurant - San Gabriel
Vietnam Restaurant (Bo 7 Mon (7 Courses of Beef)) - San Gabriel
Pho Super Bowl Vietnamese Cuisine
1300 E. Main St., #105
Alhambra, CA 91801
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
1 year ago today, Hop Woo BBQ Seafood Restaurant - Alhambra.
2 years ago today, Thai Nakorn in Garden Grove burned down. :(