Pho and Poke

Pho and Poke review

By Scott.Carle

 

Here in Durham we have a few choices for Vietnamese food and I’m glad to say that if you live in West Durham or near Duke or downtown …you don’t have to travel far anymore. At 2816 Erwin Road # 207 on the front side of the building facing Erwin Road is Pho and Poke. Our friend Thai and his wife run this casual little gem ( that was previously occupied by Chai’s Noodles ). I go to this building / complex often. There is Sushi Love, the wonderful Don Marcelo’s, the delicious Nosh, Black Twig Cider and Enzo’s Pizza here at the corner of Erwin and LaSalle…and NOW there is Vietnam food AND poke bowls. The pho is great…they prepare and cook the broth for 12 to 18 hours I’m told…and it proves to be excellent. They offer chicken , beef or tofu along with your noodles, cilantro, mint, peppers…you can’t go wrong. Hoisin and/or hot sauce is not needed but it can enhance your soup. Everything is super fresh.

The bun is also a favorite of many. Cold vermicelli noodles with lemongrass pork/ chicken/ spring rolls / tofu topped with cucumber, lettuce, fish sauce. Love it. I have been here multiple times on a mission to go through the entire menu. They also offer a very good banh mi sandwich. It starts with the bread on this one and they do it right. Pork , pickled carrot, cilantro, jalapeno’s on that toasted baguette. Oh yes. Highly recommended.

They also offer specials: pork chop with broken rice…a traditional Vietnamese dish.
A seafood and pork noodle soup and also a vegetarian noodle soup. And on Saturdays you can get the crepes….Vietnamese pancakes. So special and so delicious. Crisp flour crepes filled usually w/ pork, shrimp and sprouts….cut them into slices like pizza, wrap them in lettuce along w/ other leaves…and dip into the sauce. I used to have to go to Lang Van in Charlotte for these ! Now right here in the neighborhood. The crepes may be messy but they are outstanding.

Pho and poke also have dumplings, spring rolls and fresh summer rolls. YUM.
And let’s not forget the poke bowls. You choose your rice or greens or quinoa and top it with your choice of proteins and sauces, masago, onions, seaweed, edamame, chili flakes, dressings, etc, etc. They have signature bowls or you can create your own. For more on that take a look at the menu : phopokehouse.com
Excellent combos and again, very fresh.

Don’t overlook the boba teas, the fresh lemonade and the strong and flavorful Vietnamese ICE COFFEE !! It’s really all good here. I enjoy the casual atmosphere where you order at the counter and they bring it out to you. The staff is nice and especially the owners. Being close to campus and to Duke Hospital is going to be a good thing…for the students and hospital staff. I can’t wait till the word gets out. Here at durhamcool.com we like to let people know about the more unknown places. Pho and Poke is worthy and for me and many friends a repeat “go to ” — they really do care about the quality and flavor. There really is something here for just about everyone. When you need that slice of Saigon or taste of Hanoi please consider Pho and Poke. Rat ngon ! :):)

  Publisher Description Vietnamese cuisine subscribes to the same Chinese principles of yin and yang — the balance of opposites — but takes on its own distinct personality through the use of local ingredients and indigenous spices. As in China, you will find a balance of the five flavors — sweetness, sourness, saltiness, hotness, and bitterness — cooked in stir-fries, hearty soups and rice and noodle dishes. We have hand selected 20 Best of the Best and most delicious Vietnamese recipes like Barbecued Beef with Lemon Grass and Noodles (Bun Thit Bo Nuong), Spicy Chicken with Mint Leaves, Ginger Fish Sauce (Nuoc Cham Gung), Green Papaya Salad (Goi Du Du), Lime-Cured Beef Salad (Goi Bo), Pork Simmered with Five Spice Powder (Thit Thung), Sesame Cookies (Banh Me) & many more from the Chef’s Secret Vault. Your friends and family will think you’ve been taking lessons in gourmet cooking. So don’t miss this chance to add some treasured recipes to your personal collection today!  
  Publisher Description A cookbook devoted to the beloved Vietnamese sandwich, with 50 recipes ranging from classic fillings to innovative modern combinations. Created by Vietnamese street vendors a century or so ago, banh mi is a twist on the French snack of pâté and bread that is as brilliant as it is addictive to eat. Who can resist the combination of crisp baguette, succulent filling, and toppings like tangy daikon and carrot pickles, thin chile slices, refreshing cucumber strips, and pungent cilantro sprigs? You’ll have ample opportunities to customize your sandwich with filling options such as grilled pork, roast chicken, and “the special”—a delectable combination of garlicky pork, liver pâté, and Vietnamese cold-cuts. Opening a new realm of flavor for anyone tired of standard sandwich fare, The Banh Mi Handbook presents more than fifty recipes and numerous insights for crafting a wide range of sandwiches, from iconic classics to modern innovations, including: Crispy Drunken Chicken Shrimp in Caramel Sauce Grilled Lemongrass Pork Beef and Curry Sliders Coconut Curry Tofu Lettuce Wrap Banh Mi Respected food writer Andrea Nguyen’s simple, delicious recipes for flavor-packed fillings, punchy homemade condiments, and crunchy, colorful pickled vegetables bring the very best of Vietnamese street food to your kitchen. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY MAY 19, 2014 Nguyen, a Vietnamese-born San Francisco based food writer who has penned books on such Asian ingredients as tofu and dumplings, here offers a bite-sized exploration of banh mi, the cold cut sandwiches that are a street food favorite in Ho Chi Minh City. Over the course of nine chapters and 50 recipes, the sandwich is broken out into its basic components. Bread, of course, is half the battle, and Nguyen provides both a guide of what to look for when buying the perfect loaf, as well as a fast-rising recipe to create a baguette-like roll. Indeed, if there is a French sensibility to some of what is offered, it is due to the fact that, as explained in the introduction, France ruled Vietnam from 1883 to 1954. So, there is a classic mayonnaise, with Dijon mustard, in the sauces chapter and pork liver pate among the cold cuts. There are also tangy sauces like sriracha aioli and curiosities like silky sausage, which turns out to be a rather romantic name for Viet bologna made of ground chicken or pork. There are plenty of hot sandwich fillings as well, some of which borrow from American comfort foods; notably, the lemongrass Sloppy Joe, seasoned with star anise, ginger, and fish sauce.