10.23.2008

dinner at pho pasteur

Photobucket Lately, it seems that the beauty of fall has escaped me, and I am falling behind. I have nothing left, not one iota of originality or creativity. Not one spark. So it is surprising that Jeff and I didn't end up eating at Pho Pasteur, in downtown Calgary, this evening. It's our go-to place to eat when absolutely no thinking is required. We were there this past Saturday, as we had a distinct yearning for spring rolls, for which no ordinary spring roll will do. #19 and #25 please. Then an order of #27B. That's the fried ones, yes please; yes three springrolls. Drink? Tea please. Now #25 is Jeff's bowl of choice (above); and it is very tasty. Essentially, beef, noodles, and spring rolls. There are peanuts too, and a nice little dish of sauce to pour over the top. Now, I could describe in detail all of the dishes and the specific ingredient details. However, I tend to think of this more as mama's kind of food. You don't get too worried about the sprig of parsley, or noodle out of place, you just eat. Pho Pasteur, is where you go for reliably good Vietnamese food, but this is not gourmet food. And that is why I love it. It's not completely perfect, and therefore completely perfect, in the most beautifully relaxed kind of way. It's not supposed to be fussy, so don't fuss. It just tastes like something, and that is more than good enough. These springrolls (27B) could cause for the need of a new version of Petrarch, who writes not about the beauty of Laura's lips, but of the beauty of light crunch and deep flavour. Sigh... Photobucket We mostly go for pho when I am getting a chill. Stuffy sinuses? Problem solved instantly. It is truly miraculous. I get overly hydrated, and even get a little glisten to my skin tone. If this is fast-food, it is sure tasty, and efficient. Of course, it is an absolute must to prepare properly in advance, with the proper attire. Appropriate attire, thank you very much. And that would be in dark colours if you are like me, and order #19. Or you can just copy me and use your napkin as a bib. Do not fret my dear, the maître d' is not going to concern himself with it; it is not a dress code violation, when it prevents the ruination of a beautiful plaid silk taffeta gown. There's really no way around it, as it is impossible to lovingly drain the bowl of broth without splattering absolutely everywhere. But it's so very worth it. Every slurpy bite, gets better and better. Within the bottom lies a treasure trove, featuring a chorus of peanuts and a flavourful hot accompaniment. There is also the fun little plate of goodies, yes the condiments can be used to adjust the pho just any way you like. More basil? Sure, why not. Lime? Most definitely. Get rid of a cold? The perfect cure. Cure for your stock market woes? Even better. Ten dollars per person, is often more than ample. It's almost criminally cheap, but with this food it feels more like a splurge. My favourite, #19. Photobucket Check it out for yourself, I'll be there with my bib on: Pho Pasteur Saigon 207 1 St SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 2G3 (403) 233-0477

15 comments:

Wiggles said...

Phở is definitely comfort food for me and I admit to trying the same dish at every Vietnamese restaurant I go to for comparison.

Phở Pasteur's location has come full circle though. I remember being a 3 or 4 year old eating bì cuốn with my mom there. So few places make a proper bì cuốn now because they add too much iceberg lettuce and cut out the Thai basil and try serving it with hoisin sauce instead of nước chấm.

ila said...

oh, pho, how i love thee... this is the ultimate comfort food for me as well. runny nose? pho tai please. sore throat? add a glass salted lemonade to that please. plain crummy day? %^&* the diet, i'm having fried egg rolls with that.

Sharon said...

Mmm definitely yummy.

How were the prices there? Fairly reasonable?

Jan said...

Oooh I'd love to got there! The food looks really delish!

thehungryengineer said...

Jeff's dish is almost identical to my default dish at one of our local Vietnamese joints - 'cept mine has twice cooked pork instead of beef. Yummmmmm.

gail said...

mmm yes - comfort food for sure! For me virtually anything warmed and in a gigantic bowl. Can't go wrong with that.

Sharon - pho pasteur is cheaper than dirt. On Saturday, we decided not to have steak, and go for pho instead. Costs less than one steak!

Jan - come visit!

TavoLini said...

Now that looks fantastic!! I haven't had Vietnamese in waaaaay too long!

Freya said...

I really am craving spring rolls now but I doubt I could get any around here (the UK) that taste as good as yours look!!

Vanessa said...

I found myself wishing you were based in the SF Bay Area as I started reading this!! Wonderful way to express the tastes of a "normal" and yet comforting restaurant. Loved it!

Krista said...

Your dinner looks fantastic!

Lainie Petersen said...

Beautiful photographs for this post. Now I am quite hungry! Thanks!

gail said...

Thanks again all! Now, I am starting to convince myself that I'm not full from dinner this evening....but alas....pho pasteur is closed, so I'd at least have to wait until breakfast. Care to join me!? :)

Food For Tots said...

Wow! Gorgeous photos! Looking at the photos makes me feel like I am dinning at Pho Pasteur now. :p

gail said...

food for tots - I have to say that I do always wish that when Emeril used to say "smellovision", that it would happen one day.... I was trying to keep that in mind. Although, I think I'd prefer "taste-o-vision"!

Mike said...

That #25 bowl looks great! I love that it comes with spring rolls on top.

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