Home > Restaurants > Pho Than Brothers – 8/29/11

Pho Than Brothers – 8/29/11


Location: 2021 NW Market St


Mon-Sun: 11am-9pm

After a hectic weekend spent Downtown at the Penny Arcade Expo (Pax), J and I finally managed to squeeze in a Ballard restaurant. Since we mostly ate heavy food … burgers, Mexican, etc … we opted for pho at Pho Than Brothers for lunch on Monday.

Pho Than Brothers is a local chain located on Market Street, in the same strip mall as Thai Thani. In a spare, bright dining space, they serve only one thing, Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup. Each huge bowl comes with a plate of condiments (bean sprouts, Vietnamese basil, jalapeno peppers, lime) and a cream puff.

Time for a bit of honesty. Both J and I have tried pho and neither of us has ever been that impressed. J prefers the thicker noodles of Japanese udon and, other than Greek avgolemono soup, I’m not much of a soup person but we were willing, for the sake of this project, to give pho another try.

The Service:

Astonishingly fast.

The Drinks:

J ordered a can of Moutain Dew (aka Gamer Fuel), having not had enough at Pax.

I chose the Hot Chrysanthemum Tea that was quite nice with a honey sweet, floral flavor.

The Food:

J had the Pho Bo Vien, rice noodle soup with meatballs and extra noodles. Once he added an array of condiments, including plum and Sriracha sauce, he felt the broth was quite nice. However, the “meatballs” tasted more like slices of vaguely meat-flavored sponges than a traditional meatball. Their texture was very unappetizing.

I ordered the Pho Bo Tai Chin, rice noodle soup with sliced eye-round and brisket. Before adding the same condiments as J, I found the broth to be rather flavorless. It seems like the broth is a canvas for the other flavors to mingle. Once the additions were made, the doctored broth was the best thing about my bowl of pho. At least my choice of meat actually tasted like meat. The brisket was tender but lacked flavor, as did the thin slices of eye-round.

The cream puffs were okay. The sugary cream filling overwhelmed the rather light puff part.

The Price:

Can of Mountain Dew: 1.00

Hot Chrysanthemum Tea: 1/25

Medium Pho Bo Vien with extra noodles: 6.35

Medium Pho Bo Tai Chin: 5.75

The Verdict:

Pho Than Brothers did nothing to change our opinion of pho. The flavorless meat and weird texture of the meatballs overwhelmed the tasty (doctored) broth. Neither of us plans on returning to Pho Than Brothers, especially since pho is the only thing on the menu.

That being said, on some cold, winter night, I may give pho another chance … at Monkey Bridge where I know they use high quality ingredients.

Categories: Restaurants Tags: , , ,
  1. September 1, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I had no idea neither of you were pho phans.

    It would be great to grab a meal with you and J sometime soon. I might even drag along my partner Wendy.

  1. February 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: