My initial thought, when I saw the giant bowl of pho at Pho King Crab, was that there was no way I would be able to eat all of it.
Pho, in case you haven’t been turned on to it yet, is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup known for its strong flavors and relative inexpensiveness. Every pho joint does it a little differently, but for the most part it’s just rice noodles, broth and meat, with spices such as basil and cilantro thrown in.
At Pho King Crab, I ordered the beef noodle soup combination, which in addition to sliced brisket was loaded with tripe and beef tendons. It normally has meatballs, too, but the restaurant had run out of those (they promised to give me extra next time). Even without the meatballs, it was a lot of food for $6.99 — the lunch special price, which includes a soda. As I got ready to eat, I was already thinking about how great it would be to have leftover pho for later in the day.
I added the bean sprouts and jalapenos that came with it, and I squeezed in some juice from the lime wedges. Then I stirred in a healthy spoonful of red-pepper hot sauce. And, dear lord was it good. The way those flavors combined with the beef broth and cilantro, the tendons and tripe, the brisket — it was all just too much. I ate and ate, as my nose started to run from the heat and my forehead started to sweat.
Before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the bowl and ready for a long nap. I just sat there for a minute, marveling at how all of that stuff that had minutes before filled this giant bowl, was now inside of me. I wouldn’t have thought it possible.
I can’t wait to get back to Pho King Crab to try all of the other stuff they’ve got there: Vietnamese sandwiches for $3.99, fried chicken wings or shrimp for $5.99, spring rolls for $3, and so forth. I’d also like to try some of their seasonal seafood dishes, such as the lobster with scallion and ginger and the crab stir fry.
Pho King Crab
Address: 1601 E. Washington Ave., Union Gap.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.