The Spot: Just across the way from the railway line at 113 Phung Hung, this very well-attended noodle joint is next to a little post office which serves stamps and bun oc, a snail noodle soup - what you might call a mixed business! Further along the length of this street, famous for its hot pot restaurants, you'll have no trouble flogging off stolen goods or getting some quick cash for a hit of smack at the many pawn shops.
Space and Atmosphere: A vast fluoro-lit concrete shed, more spacious than the average soup house, with furniture for adults but, on my visit, loads of kids sitting up at it. One young girl, a yo-yo swinging a wide arc out from her middle finger, copped a greasy middle finger school-teacher tone from me. Her yo-yo was getting far too close to my noodles. I had to bark at her.
Shopfront Style: A makeshift corrugated plastic awning, in good need of a shake to get rid of last year's moulded autumn leaves, shelters signage depicting smiling cows and a winking fat French chef.
Sticks, Condiments and Crockery: 'Gold Leave' bowls, pho crockery of a nation but made in China, hold the soup. Sticks are plentiful, no problems forming a pair. Uniformity of length and straightness are the two properties demanded by all etiquette abiding Vina-mums, according to the god. Big Bat Trang ceramic pots of red sauce are a tad unique.
Serving Station: What you can't see in the photograph above is the elongated bull's dick spiked and hanging from a butcher's hook, ready to be chopped (again!) and added to the bowl of a tougher man than I.
Meat Generosity: This post marks a hat-trick of very fine quality pho bo establishments, none recommended to me and all fallen upon by chance. I was tempted to ask the very obliging pho pa for half a dozen slices of corned beef for me to whack in a sandwich with some mustard for lunch. Fine cow indeed!
Service to Delivery Gap: Speedy
Stock Factor: The ongoing process that is pho stock preparation is in full evidence here. At one stage, a pho-runner ferries a bucketful of broth from the mother pot out back to the one by the serving station. The flavour is full and satisfying, just the right amount of saltiness.
Cost: A steal at 10,000VND (USD60c, AUD75c) a bowl.
Rank: I'm going to put this at four of fifteen, knowing full well that the overall rankings are in need of a major update.