Column Corner: Food

The cheaper the better, right? At least that’s what most college students’ motto is when it comes to purchasing food.

What if I told you that there exists a place in which both quality and quantity come together, and your wallet hardly suffers a loss in the process? Pho Hung Cuong is located at the corner of IH 10 and De Zavala, and their large portions paired with their low prices will make any college student happy.

The menu consists of a lot of soup, which is great for leftovers, as well as egg rolls, spring rolls, rice and stir fry. Pho, however, is what the restaurant is known for. For those who don’t already know, pho (pronounced fuh) is a type of soup made with long, flat noodles, meat or tofu, and vegetables. Every table comes equipped with a bottle of Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chopsticks and soup spoons, so patrons can always flavor their pho how they like it.

Besides pho being delicious, it comes served in such large bowls that it could be lunch or dinner for the rest of the week. Just ask for a large Styrofoam to-go cup and take it home. In some cases, pho tastes even better the second day.

The atmosphere at Pho Hung Cuong is inviting. There are waterfalls near the entrance, a giant chandelier in the middle of the dining room lit with dim, but not too dim, lighting. The staff is friendly, helpful and, due to the relatively small space, plentiful.

One oddity about this place is the acoustics. Depending on where you are seated, a conversation being held across the room can be heard at your table. The noisier volume does make it easier to carry on conversations without fear of being eavesdropped on, however, the snippets of noise from across the room can be a bit annoying. This is a small complaint in regards to everything else the restaurant has to offer.

If you have never had pho before, trying an option with beef slices is a pretty safe bet. If you don’t eat meat, there are options with tofu or just veggies. Once your massive bowl is served along with sprouts, cilantro and a lime on the side, taste it to see how it stands on its own. Then, gradually add a bit of Sriracha if you like spicy, and Hoisin sauce if you like a more teriyaki flavor. Squeezing lime and adding sprouts and cilantro give it an extra zesty flavor if you’re into that – I certainly recommend it.

If you have had pho before, there are plenty of variations to try. The menu is numbered, so if you can’t pronounce your order there are no mix ups. For authentic pho that’s close by and only nine dollars at the most, you really can’t go wrong.