An Indulgent Weekend, Part One: Pho So 1

March 10, 2012

Over the family day long weekend, Vince and I headed down to Calgary to just take a break and enjoy being away from Edmonton. His number one mission was just to relax. Mine? Eat as much good food as I could in a span of 30 hours. Yeah, I'm kinda gross sometimes :)

Pho So 1 - 1609 Centre Street N - Calgary AB

Whenever I'm in Calgary, having a hot bowl of pho noodle soup is a must! After driving 2.5 hours down the highway, we found ourselves standing outside Pho So 1 on the recommendation of one of my coworkers.

When you enter the restaurant, it's your run of the mill Vietnamese restaurant. Minimal decor on the wall (definitely Asian inspired if any!), a fish tank, and tables stocked with condiments for your soup. For 12 PM on a Sunday, the restaurant was quite empty - uh oh.

The ordering process here is reminiscent of that at Pho Tau Bay in Edmonton, where you are given a little sheet to write down your order. I've never quite understood why something like this needs to be in place at a restaurant where the service is already bound to be at a bare minimum anyways. How hard is it to take down an order for pho? I absolutely understand this process when you will be ordering say, all you can eat sushi or hot pot, where there are multiple items that need to be gathered and put together. I just don't get it. How lazy can you be?!

Pho So 1 offers three different sizes for their noodle soups, and at very reasonable prices. I'd say the average for a small bowl of pho in Edmonton right now is about $7.50 - $8.00, so it's refreshing to see cheaper prices! I went with the small beef ball pho ($6.75), while Vince picked the large pho dac biet ($7.95).

small beef ball pho

After taking our order, the steaming bowls of soup were at our table in under 4 minutes. And what a relief! The bowls are rolled out on a cart to the table, avoiding my pet peeve: the waiter's thumb getting in the soup. I've seen it happen so many times and it makes me feel sick to my stomach when that happens!

large pho dac biet

With the steaming broth sitting infront of me, I quickly sipped the soup and it was delicious. The broth had a nice depth to it, and a natural sweetness that reminded me of my favourite soup at Thai Son in Vancouver. The beef balls had a very nice bite to them, and a peppery taste that I loved.

comparison of the large vs. small

Vince enjoyed his soup as well, but the beef was a little on the tough side for his liking. It wasn't quite the perfect bowl of pho for us, but pretty good especially when you factor in the price! After the meal, we didn't have any serious thirst issues, so the MSG content here seems to be pretty low. Check this place out if you're in the area.

I was quite full from my small bowl, but Vince was left wanting more food. So off we went, looking for something more...

To be continued :) Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Pho So 1 on Urbanspoon

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  1. hope you are enjoying your weekend as well, Andrea :)
    i love a good bowl of pho on a chilly day.

  2. I agree with you about the thumb thing...I have many food pet peeves and often opt to eat home instead of chancing it.

  3. your blog is so cute! i just discovered it. please check out mine too when u have a moment :)


  4. I love pho! I can eat it any time of the day or year. But it is such a treat to have a hot bowl on a cold rainy day. I have tried learning to make the broth from a Vietnamese friend long time ago. But the effort and ingredients to make a good broth is too much work for me.

    1. I know it takes a really long time to make the broth, but it's so worth it in the end! I really want to try it out soon.. :)

  5. Oh darling, I love your blog! I was looking for nice blogs through my friend's blog and found yours, if you would like we could both follow each other? Let me know in a comment lovely! Mine's:


  6. OMGGG I LOVE PHO! I eat it almost atleast once a week. I could live off it LOL

    1. If there was only one thing I could eat for the rest of my life, it would DEFINITELY be pho! I wish I could have it once a week, omg. Jealous!

  7. yummmmm omgosh i'm so jelly i've been mad craving pho!!!! it is just not the same here.. i tried it at this one place.. but they didn't shave the beef paper thin it was actually kind of in thick slices :(!! that defeats the point!! grrrr! and no beef balls!!! GRRRR!! hahaha i will have to live vicariously through your pics :)

  8. oh i loveeeeeeeeeee pho!!!!!!!!!!!! looks delish!


  9. omg pho is so so yummyyy! :D
    thanks for your lovely comment on my blog, following you through bloglovin! xx.

  10. Lovely places :D

    Fi *

  11. oh my gosh I loooove PHO! I've been craving it for awhile but haven't been in ages! Yummyyyy!


  12. Ooo...finding a good place for Pho is like finding a new gem!! There is this amazing place for Pho in London that we literally would queue for 30mins or more for...let me know if you are ever in London so I can recommend the place to you!
    Thanks for the follow and the sweet comment! I'm now following you back on google chrome, connect and Bloglovin!! Have a fabulous week and hope you will stop by my blog again soon!
    May x

    1. 30 minutes?! That's nuts! It has to taste amazing.. I will definitely let you know if I'm ever there!

  13. I have never tried Vietnamese food... but that sure looks tasty! I guess I need to broaden my horizons... :P

    xo Rachel

  14. the meal looks so delicious:)

  15. Mmmm!!! I love pho! That looks so good! :D


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