Let’s face it, I live in Taco Land. There are tacos in big and small eateries, in bars and in chain restaurants. Pho, however, it more difficult to find in Northern Colorado.
A great benefit of this blog, that I didn’t foresee, is that I have eaten at places I didn’t know existed. And, I have eaten at restaurants that I had intended to try but never had the proper excuse. Yes, I started this blog, in part, as an excuse to eat food.
Saigon Xpress Vietnamese Restaurant, in a nondescript strip mall in Longmont, is a place I never would have known existed, but for TacosandPho.com. And I am so glad I went.
I feel that I need to come clean about the fact that I am a little intimidated when going to a new-to-me pho restaurant. While I am at home with tacos, chopsticks have always presented an insurmountable challenge to me, despite being a quarter Korean.
I thought Saigon Xpress, going on the name alone, was going to be a fast-food-style joint, and it is not. It’s a sit-down restaurant where diners are provided plastic chopsticks and not forks. I could have asked for one, but instead, I decided to chance it. After all, there were only two other diners at 2:30 p.m. and they were almost done, so few people would witness this debacle.
My carpal tunnel syndrome makes holding chopsticks extremely difficult, so I scooped and slurped my way through my beef pho.
When I first started eating pho, I browsed the internet and found this great article. It not only informs the reader of the long history of pho in Vietnam but it let me know that my pho-eating etiquette was good enough.
But is it?
About halfway through my bowl of beef pho at Saigon Xpress, a staff member gave me an unsolicited second napkin. I was actually quite appreciative, but I hope my attempts to use chopsticks didn’t result in any broth on the wall or noodles on the ceiling.
The best part of the pho at Saigon Xpress was the meat. I have never had my pho beef this tender. It’s memorably good. Second, the broth is full of flavor. I do not profess to be a professional pho eater, far from it. In fact, I am most likely the exact opposite. However, I do know that broth should be the star of pho. I never adulterate it with sauce. I always put the Sriracha and Hoisin in bowls on the side and dip my meat and noodles.
Saigon Xpress is worth a stop. And at just $10 for the small bowl of pho (which is big), it won’t break the bank.
Saigon Xpress, 1225 Ken Pratt Blvd., Unit #110, Longmont, Colorado 80501