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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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