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June 26th, 2007 JOANNA MILLER | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Cheap Eats 2007

     
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Although the kitchen's clean and the furniture isn't secondhand Pho Van maintains the authenticity of a mom-'n'-pop Viet cafe. Entrées like pork chops with grilled shrimp ($7.75) are glazed in the traditional lemongrass and honey marinades while the lotus-root salad ($6.50) is heightened with just a touch of mint. Tripe tendon and fatty brisket may sound frightening floating in a soup of cilantro jalapeños and bean sprouts but Van's tender cuts of meat don't overpower the signature pho bo cac biet ($6.95). Proof that quality can still come cheap—don't let the unchipped plates and teak lanterns fool you. (JM)

 
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