– Laura Lundberg
It’s no question that the winter months here in Oregon can be wet, cold, and especially dreary. This time of year brings about that ‘all I want to do is stay in my warm bed and not even think about going to classes’ lackadaisical attitude. Food is something that seems to become especially important during these months as we begin to eagerly seek out places that serve those coveted homemade vibe dishes. While these warm comfort foods can vary from soup, to hot tea, even to Mac and Cheese, one type of food that I will gladly drive twenty minutes in order to get is a Vietnamese dish called pho.
Named simply Vietnam Restaurant, this hidden gem is one of the best places to get a bowl of pho that I have found and is located right here in Eugene. Pho, pronounced ‘phu’, is a type of noodle soup that is usually served with beef or chicken and comes accompanied with a plate of basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers that you can add to the soup to your liking.
This dish originated in the Nam Dinh province of northern Vietnam about a century ago. There the cooks sought to please both the locals with the Vietnamese noodles, as well as the French colonizers by adding beef or chicken to the soup. The broth was usually prepared very early in the morning by simmering beef or chicken bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices together for hours. Though a ton of preparation went into the broth, the final amount was enough to serve customers throughout the day until the restaurant closed for the evening.
With each sip, pho soup can warm the cockles of your soul and fill you up with delicious meat and noodles. But the broth is what makes these two different ingredients come together to beat the chill of the winter evening. So if you’re looking for something warm to eat on a cold winter’s evening, instead of trying the usual comfort food subjects, I suggest making the trek out to the Vietnam Restaurant…it’ll be worth it!