Seriously, Hipster Chefs Really Need to Stop Calling Their Non-Pho Dishes "Pho"

pho_bowl.jpg
Photo by Alpha
THIS is pho, god damn.

I normally refrain from publishing two rants back-to-back, but this next subject has got me so salty I can't wait.

People really need to stop calling their random-ass food creations "pho" whatever. Seriously. In the last few weeks, I've seen a pho sandwich and pho nachos, and I'm sure there's a "pho burrito" or "pho tacos" or "pho chow mein" or something else out there.

Why would you even call non-pho food pho something? You're not opening a Vietnamese restaurant; you're just confusing people.

First off, the entire identity of pho is that it's pho. It's a soup, it's made with (most of the time) beef, and contains pho noodles. Remove the noodles? Not really pho. No pho broth? Nope, not pho. Put it in a bread bowl? Definitely not pho. You don't see people going around calling Chicken pot pies Chicken Soup Hot Pockets, don't call your food pho.

I'm sure at this point, some of you are thinking it's about the flavors -- that if something tastes like pho, it's perfectly okay to use pho as an adjective. To you, I ask you to imagine a "pho sandwich." What's in your head? Something like a french dip but with broth instead of jus? That sounds pretty good. Maybe served with Sriracha and hoisin sauce. Yeah, I'd eat that.

Okay, now I'm going to show you a picture of a pho sandwich from New York's Sunny and Annie's Deli.

Look at it. Tomato. Avocado. Not a hint of pho broth or pho noodles. That's not a pho sandwich, that's a torta with bean sprouts. Pho sandwich is a complete misnomer.


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75 comments
Max Barela
Max Barela

Pho Fusion in Kearny Mesa, excellent food!!

Thomas Siewert
Thomas Siewert

As soon as hipsters 'stahp' writing for the weekly

Joel White
Joel White

Isn't Kogi Mexican and Korean fusion made by a Korean chef?

Andrea Pappas
Andrea Pappas

lol Cynthia Kim Nguyen that is why I love you

Allison Rivera
Allison Rivera

Jose Gonzalez Alfaro im just tagging you in this bc its says "STAHP" lol

cbui81
cbui81

they are fucking up a classic dish. This same article could be written for the term "banh mi." just because it has vietnamese, not asian, flavors, it's not necessarily a banh mi. idiots that are trying to ride the names of vietnamese dishes need to knock that shit off. Go eat a real bowl of pho from a mom that learned the recipe from her mom, who learned it from her mom, and then tell me that this shit qualifies as being pho. And go to a legit vietnamese sandwich shop and get a real banh mi. To be correct, get a banh mi dac biet, or a banh mi thit nuong, not just a banh mi. Banh mi just means bread, so stop calling your dumbshit sandwiches banh mi, please.

lando12310
lando12310

Why is putting pho in a bread bowl not pho? Is there some traditional bowl it needs to be served in to be called pho?

fat_tony_714
fat_tony_714

your argument is invalid, because all of that looks delicious. sorry.

pham
pham

GAH...hipster is such an overused word!  First off, Sunny & Annie's is a deli/bodega in the East Village (NYC) owned by a hard-working Korean family.  They serve the community well with their creative sandwiches and reasonable prices.  They were also the only ones opened during Hurricane Sandy proudly serving hot coffee and whatever food they had while the whole neighborhood was without power for a week.  I live a block away from them and go there weekly for my sandwich fix.  Have you ever had their Pho Real sandwich?  It's really good!  I'm Vietnamese-American and I see nothing wrong with using traditional ingredients in a fresh, inventive way.

Diego A. Abrajan
Diego A. Abrajan

Can't stop, won't stop. Gastronomy!! Note: we (as MURICA) have messed up a lot of traditional dishes; so I think we're a little too late on this bus.

Ivan Bee
Ivan Bee

Pho sandwich!!? tah fuck outta here with your funky torta

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

The Pho sandwich is in NEW YORK CITY.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

But hey, the owners of Sunny & Annie Deli in New York City are Asian, so....exactly how does that make them "hipster chefs"? And why is OC Weekly writing about a New York deli?

jillsifer
jillsifer

Goooooooooooood luck. Over the years, nearly every "immigrant" dish has been adulterated, bastardized, adapted, modified and re-engineered--but rarely renamed. Glad to see you stand up for a more purist viewpoint, but, long-term, it's not going to work.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

By the way, the person who invented the Pho Sandwich at Sunny & Annie's Deli in New York City (which the article referenced - it's not even in California and it's not even a restaurant, let alone an expensive restaurant - it's a little hole-in-the-wall deli) is NOT white - the owners of the deli are ASIAN. Imagine that - Asians creating a sandwich out of Asian ingredients. So much for the "hipster chefs" label.

Steve Gaines
Steve Gaines

Fusion food? How will a Pho Burrito be liquid tight? Is it served in a bowl with a straw?

이경수
이경수

Anyway just makes my mouth water

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

Not ignoring anything, angry Shannon. You sure are emotionally invested in this subject, though. However, you're making some silly assumptions about me personally, when you don't even know me. An intelligent person refrains from doing that. You do make a valid point about what some professional chefs do, sure, and that is a topic that's worthy of criticism. But you started off by making a blanket accusation against "white chefs" (a rather large number of individuals worldwide) for simply borrowing elements from non-European cuisines, as if the very act of blending cuisines was equivalent to cultural appropriation, which is absurd. You ignore the fact that non-white chefs also have been blending cuisines for centuries, and continue to do so, but they don't get called out for any cultural appropriation for doing so. There's no "victim complex" here. I'm pointing out the fallacy of your overgeneralized claim, and you're just pouting because of it.

Anthony A Jr
Anthony A Jr

Too easy Shannon, I'll be nice. Well I like your hair.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

How are they "false equivalences"? You're not seriously claiming that only white chefs borrow elements from other cuisines, are you? Are the world's cultures only allowed to cook and eat their own cultures' foods now? I'll admit that utilizing "pho" in relation to these concoctions is bizarre, silly, and not really accurate, but if it's "cultural appropriation" to use ingredients from cuisines not one's own or to combine elements to create new cuisine types, then you've got your head on backwards.

Diego Ramirez
Diego Ramirez

^This is great, let's be friends and rant about cultural approbation all day.

Nabil Nathie
Nabil Nathie

And you need to stop calling everything and anything "hipster".

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers

Looks like you got the bad DNA. Sorry about your condition. We are all "black" sister. No matter how white you think whitey is. Fact.

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

What the fuck does mitochondrial DNA have to do with any of this? & yeah, go eat. The more time spent stuffing your face is less time I gotta hear your garbage opinions.

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

LOL, you're just gonna ignore French colonization tho right? Your arguments fucking ignore history or any real facts and only serve to prop up your false sense of white western superiority. Take your victim complex somewhere else.

TiDang
TiDang

They're korean. They aren't vietnamese. It's like an irish dude making a dish from tomatoes and other ingredients and calling it an italian dish. The main issue is they're calling it a pho sandwich which makes 0 sense. Might as well call ketchup italian speghetti sauce.

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