It's.... PHO TIME. The name doesn't help in reminding myself the correct pronunciation of Pho which is "Fuh" (like "Duh..") but it is a memorable one.
Anyway, their bright bamboo signage was what caught my eye as I was randomly driving along Garnet Ave without a lunch destination. From what I later gathered quickly online, PT used to be Green Papaya, another Vietnamese Pho spot. Kirk's visit of when it was GP here.
I've been working on a part-two of my Pho findings in SD but I'm being careful in not making it the marathon the part-one was. My collection has been growing rapidly as my SD Pho journey continues and decided to do this as a single. I should also mention here that I'm not a super picky Pho eater although a particularly good bowl will definitely make my day. So please take this and my future Pho experiences with a grain of salt.
Pho Time's full menu here. I have to point out that they used one of my past photos (from Pho Cali) on their menu. While I take copyright issues seriously, in this case I'm willing to look the other way and try help support these new Pho Timers. A very kind and attentive experience from the servers this day (not to mention for me a pretty decent bowl of Pho) and I just kinda like them.
The Cha Gio is listed as a plate of six for $6.15 but they were more than happy to serve me a half order ($3.10) after asking. Fried fresh and hot and not skimpy with the leafy lettuce and mint leaves.
And when the server finally came by with my No. 7 ($5.55), I was able to smell the light aroma of the soup from his hand held tray. Not as strong as my experience at Pho Ca Dao but still a good sign.
Pho with eye round steak, flank, tendon, and tripe. I might've over did it with the super (Thai) basil but after adding my many favorite garnishes it looked like so..
Of course also with some addtion of Nuoc Beo..!
When I Google Nuoc Beo, my original post pops up high in the ranks which is kind of sad considering how little I actually know about it. How it's actually prepped in the kitchen is still a total mystery to me.
I do know it is rendered Beef Tallow but to me definitely much more than that. It also seems to have Pho's many fat soluble flavors concentrated in it. Many believe that a good bowl of Pho would never need this if done right.
Some also just prefer a not so oily broth I would guess. I like mine Golden Sparkly and jewel-like. :) The before and after with some NB. Most requests of Nuoc Beo is free like it was here (and not just the first sampling, haha). Submit to the dark side.. try your next bowl of pho with a side of Nuoc Beo.. ;)
To continue, the steak was quite tender as with the small amount of tendons. The tripe was finely cut as I also like and the flank had a lot of good beefy flavor. At least for me nothing here at Pho Time to complain much about. In fact I had a very good (pho) time. I will be back when in the area (alternating with Pho Sao Bien).
I look forward next in trying their Cha Gio Tom Cua - listed as seafood fried egg rolls with Dungeness crab meat, shrimp and pork. They also have a few Banh Mi sandwiches. :)
Pho Time, 1820 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109