Pho (pronounced like fo, like “fo’ sho!”) finally happened. After almost two months of saying, “Oh yeah, let’s get pho this weekend!” only to have someone suddenly go to PCB (whoops) or not have enough money or, well, whatever, WE FINALLY ATE PHO! We didn’t go to Kathy’s hometown like we originally planned because Chris came down with a cold, so Kathy, Adam and I met at a restaurant in Athens called Just Pho. I won’t lie, it doesn’t have much atmosphere at all – it’s in a shopping center next to a shut down Rite Aid and a Little Caesar’s. When you taste the food, though, none of that matters. The place was really hopping when we went, which kind of surprised me – who knew so many freshmen liked pho??
Anyways, Adam and I ordered pho while Kathy (who used to work at Just Pho and therefore is a pho pro) ordered the Vietnamese Sub. While I LOVED the pho, I feel like I need to admit that I actually liked the sub better. The bread was crunchy, the BBQ pork was tender and flavorful, the mayo sauce was creamy and the vegetables were crisp. When I go to Just Pho again, I’m definitely ordering the sub.
The pho, on the other hand, was a HUGE bowl filled to the brim with broth and chock full of long rice noodles, tender eye round and slice Vietnamese meatballs, thinly sliced onions and scallions, along with my additions of mung bean sprouts, cilantro and jalepenos. I also added some siriachi sauce for a spicy kick.
Um, and this bowl of delicious soup was so big that I couldn’t finish it.
I am disappointed in myself.
In restaurants I am the PRESIDENT of the clean plate club – I have to get my money’s worth! Thankfully, Adam and Kathy helped me finish off the bowl, while Adam and I helped Kathy finish her spring rolls and sub. Adam was definitely the food champion of the night. So impressive. He even ate the peanut sauce that came with the spring rolls (which was so awesome, by the way – I could take a bath in that sauce, seriously). He just stuck is finger right in and totally cleaned the bowl! And while I’m on the subject of the spring rolls – as Tina would say, HOLY YUM!
The only spring rolls I ever ate prior to Just Pho were tiny and deep fried with gunk for filling. Don’t get me wrong, those spring rolls are divine along side greasy Panda (a fast food delicacy, in my opinion), but I’ve decided that nothing beats a REAL spring roll. For me, it was all about the texture – the roll itself didn’t have a ton of flavor. The rice paper was chewy, the bean sprouts were crunchy and the shrimp and pork were tender. And although the roll itself is kind of bland, the sauce MAKES the roll – it’s a perfect combination. The spring roll is a vehicle for the peanut sauce (which, according to Kathy, is simply peanut butter and hoisin sauce mixed, followed by a tiny bit of water, then mixed again). Spring rolls are also quite possibly one of the prettiest appetizers out there, what, with the vibrant colors from the pink shrimp and green lettuce. Sigh, I was in foodie heaven – so many new eating experiences in one meal!
And now moving to something completely unrelated to food – SCHOOL! Nothing much there, just learning (very slowly learning, I might add) HTML, CSS and Dreamweaver.
They’re blowing my mind, people. I get the individual codes, but when I try to go about combining it all together, my mind combusts. It’s like that episode of Spongebob where Patrick’s thought bubble is a glass of spilled milk.
My mind on CSS = a glass of spilled milk. My mind on food = top form.
Which is why I made S’mores Brownies today after seeing Kait make some a few weeks ago. I decided to go the easy route, though, and use box brownie mix and simply poke in shards of graham cracker and fat marshmallows.
Well, they didn’t turn out to be the prettiest brownies ever, but I can’t call them a blunder because they were still delicious.
The marshmallows did turn caramel-y in the edge brownies which made them really chewy/stick to your teeth, but overall the brownies were awesome. Unfortunately I didn’t wait long enough for them to cool either (brownies are my ALL TIME favorite dessert, people. I have NO restraint/patience when it comes to brownies), so they looked even uglier after I tried cutting them.
Whatever. Brownies rule. Always.
So I gave the ugly ones to my roommates and I’m taking the more attractive middle pieces to work tomorrow. Next time I make these I think I’ll make the brownie part from scratch using the recipe on Joy the Baker’s site. Before that, however, I’m going to make the Caramel Sea Salt Brownies on Everyday Musings.
Drool x 100000000000000000.
Okay kids, I need to go learn about some pre-conception nutrition now. Girls, get your folate and iron! Boys, get your zinc!
That is all.