Quick: It’s lunchtime in Memphis and you want Vietnamese food. Where should I find you? If you guessed Pho Hoa Binh, you’re right (or you read the title, but virtual high-five either way). This family-owned restaurant in Midtown Memphis will fulfill all of your needs for the warm, inviting tastes and smells of Vietnam.
If there is a delectable way to flavor tofu, they are doing it here. I have never seen so many inventive (and delicious) uses of this wonderful… well, soy vegetable square thing... in one place. What’s even better? You can try them all for under $7 during the lunch hour buffet. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, second-guesser, I dare you to go see for yourself. If I’m wrong, I won’t be. If I’m right (I am), you can thank me for your newest addiction.
It was just cold enough in Memphis today (oh, Tampa heat, how I long to feel your embrace) to head to this yummy staple for some pho and an array of warm, steaming food off of the humble buffet. Sure, it’s not the casino-style, wrap around, feed you everything it can think of, laugh as you stumble away filled with regret, buffet. It’s modest, but what it lacks in quantity, it definitely makes up for in quality.
I decided to dive face first into that yummy buffet, leaving all willpower behind me as I piled my plate high with lemongrass tofu, curry tofu, and black bean tofu with steamed rice, tender vegetables, and crispy egg rolls. I found myself worshipping my plate as I marveled at the artful preparation of the lemongrass tofu (below), its crunchy outer crust speckled with its namesake and coarse ground pepper. It’s no wonder this is Brooke's favorite preparation of the yummy cushion of protein.
|Lemon Grass Tofu|
|Egg Rolls and Lemongrass Tofu: BFFAE|
I had to order some of the tofu spring rolls while I was there, if only for the peanut sauce that is served generously at its side. I have never had a better version of this condiment. The extra touch of fresh crushed peanuts and chili sauce adds a delicious crunch and kick!
My sister was craving the steaming comfort of bowl of soup, so she ordered Chicken Pho. Pho is such a wonderful thing for people who like to leave an artistic mark on their food. You can really personalize it to your taste with the number of sauces and sides offered with this tasty broth and vegetables. Add some bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime, or a generous squirt of sriricha and hoisin sauce! It's all about you, friend!
The envy that clearly marked my face as I watched her throw fresh bean sprouts and jalapenos into her dish was shameful… I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was in a idyllic state from my tofu, but that delicious noodle soup had me second-guessing, as I watched the steam rise out of the bowl. Ah, such is life.
I cannot recommend this spot more fanatically. Please, for all that is good in this world, skip that boring drive-thru lunch this week and head to Pho Hoa Binh. They will have you pleasantly full and blissfully happy (and everyone at your job confused by your jubilance) in less than 10 minutes. Plus, this family could not be more pleasant and attentive (the owner’s son even suggested Brooke dip her chicken in a sriracha and hoison mix before eating it. Spoiler: it was delicious). What other establishment can promise this quality of food at such an alarming rate with a friendly staff?