If what you do on New Year's Day is any indication of how the rest of the year is going to be, then my 2009 is going to consist of me waking up feeling horrible, going back to sleep, getting up to shower, going back to sleep, waking up again, and then sleeping some more. And then around five pm, finally getting up to eat.
In my defense, after all the New Year's Eve festivities TL and I hadn't gotten home until about five in the morning, and by that time I had lost my voice and was feeling terribly ill. I'd started feeling crappy even while at Ssäm Bar, and by the end of the night I was done for. (It didn't help that we had run around so much in the cold—a cute dress under a thin wool coat and arctic wind just don't mix.) So when JL and LB asked where we wanted to meet for dinner, nothing sounded appealing until TL mentioned a Vietnamese restaurant AS had recently recommended. A giant bowl of hot, steamy pho seemed like just the thing.
We met at Pho So 1 on Mott Street, a below-ground restaurant with a cheery yellow awning and equally cheery service. TL ordered summer rolls and I tried a piece of bánh cuon, which were steamed rice flour crepes filled with a mixture of minced vegetables, shrimp, and meat, served with nuoc cham and pieces of the circular "pork loaf" often found in bánh mì. Unfortunately, I wasn't into the mushy texture and muddled flavor of the dish. It might have been a proper version but for me it was a pass.
The pho, however, was just what I needed. JL, TL, and I each got the house version, and it arrived in a seriously massive bowl brimming with rice noodles, beef balls, and pieces of tendon, rib eye, and flank. The flavor of the broth was great—meaty, clean, and fragrant—and we all agreed it was among the best any of us had ever had. Each sip was wonderfully soothing and felt perfect for my aching throat.
I've heard more good things about Pho So 1 since, and I'm excited to try some of the other things on their menu. If the pho we had is any indicator, the rest is definitely promising.