Posted by: Antonia Ciccolo | November 23, 2010

Vegan Pho and All Things Vietnamese

For the past five months, I’ve been dating someone of Vietnamese decent and he graciously introduced me to the world of Pho. I love everything about vegetarian Pho: the rice noodles, the warm vegetable broth, the medley of vegetables, and the soft tofu. It’s such a great, healthy meal for lunch or dinner, or for breakfast if you like it as much as I do. I’ve been converted and I now I’m started to introduce Pho to my friends, or correct some of my friends for pronouncing it incorrectly. I’ve been to two Vietnamese restaurants in the Boston area: Pho Pasteur on Beach Street in Chinatown, and Pho Lemongrass right outside of Coolidge Corner in Brookline. I have to admit that Pho Pasteur was definitely our favorite – it seemed much more authentic and the Pho had more flavor.

Since Pho Lemongrass is so close to my house, I’ve visited four times already in the past month (I know, kind of ridiculous) and I’ve tried something different every time. Vietnamese restaurants (as well as other Asian cuisines) always have great vegetarian options. In addition to the Vegetarian Pho with Tofu, I have also tried the vegetarian Summer Rolls, a delicate rice paper rolled around tofu, lettuce, and Asian basil and served with chilled peanut sauce. Summer Rolls are traditionally served as an appetizer.  On another visit to Lemongrass, I ordered the Vegetarian Delight. This dish came with steamed peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, string beans, and snow peas in a light soy sauce – another healthy and flavorful Vietnamese entree. I have also tried the Tofu and Spinach dish which came in a tasty brown sauce with brown rice on the side. It’s been great trying all kinds of vegan Vietnamese dishes, but the more I branch out, the less I get to eat Pho! I’ve been so lucky to have such good friends (and dates) – people who have introduced me to new vegan entrees. At some point in my life I’ll have to try vegetarian Pho in Vietnam and see how it compares.

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