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Phở Thang Long, Fairfax - Pho House With Vietnamese Menu near Micro Center on Nutley Street and Lee Highway


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I love a good bowl of Pho and have fallen for the Pho at Pho Thanh Long in Merrifield, VA, just off 66 and 29 on Nutley in the Pan Am Shopping Center (MicroCenter, Giant, etc.).

The people who run the place are nice, but the Pho is the star. Terrific appetizers, sure, but the Pho Tai is first rate. It's the equal of Pho Gourmet in Manassas, maybe a bit better.

Try it. You'll like it ...

Jim

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I had my first Pho at their Springfield location, on Backlick in the shopping center where Hechingers used to be, and I loved it. I've gotten carry-out from both locations and I think it's really good.

Pho Cyclo in the Yorktowne Center is OK, but not as good as Pho Thang Long, at least at Pho. Pho Cyclo's other selections are good, IMO.

Is the Springfield location (still) a Pho Thang Long? I went by there recently and vaguely recall it being another Pho house.

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It's the perfect place to eat when you're sick. The food is good and quick and the staff are just so nice! I always grab a quart or two of broth to drink later. Last winter when my throat closed up, the beef broth was the only thing I could eat for days! They now have shrimp, chicken, and vegetarian soups on the menu. We've only tried the beef and the shrimp soup, but I can confirm that that broths taste radically different.

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Due to an "unfortunate" series of mishaps at MicroCenter, I've been to Phở Thăng Long three times in the past month. They have a slick new menu, four pages long, with lots of non-pho dishes on it - the actual menu is more professionally designed, and there's much to try here. However, I've stuck with pho since I've been there mostly in the late morning, and I like this soup for breakfast.

A Large #3 with Steak and Flank ($7.95) was lacking each time (the final visit I threw in a desperation order of bible tripe) - it was the broth itself that was relatively tasteless, and without much in the way of beef fat (I understand the lean meats I ordered should contribute to this, by the time you get to the bottom of the bowl, but at the moment when the soup was served, the hot liquid was nearly clear, with almost no bubbles indicating long contact with beef. In each of these three cases, I went to town with the Sriracha, plum sauce, and even the fish sauce (a rarity for me), and on one occasion, a lime (also a rarity for me) because the soup just needed something to wake it up.

The staff here is always pleasant - eager to refill water glasses, etc. And while not bad, these were phos of convenience, not quality. Still, I'd rather have "bland" than too much seasoning from a starter mix - "inoffensive" is a good descriptor. Pleasant when you're hungry and want to sit down to a leisurely meal with a book.

I've been here many times in the past, and the pho that I've recently had does not jibe with the reviews written up above. Perhaps the new owners are cutting corners.

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Recently made a number of consecutive holiday-time visits to Pho Thang Long in Fairfax and I must write that it's better than ever, and consistently so.

The broth is the best, by far, of anything in this area. I stick with the Pho Tai.

I am definitely a Pho regular at kitchens around the world, preferring it only slightly to Bibimbap or Ramen, all delicious. Is there ay decent ramen in the DC area -- only NYC has satisfied me in this department.

Jim

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Recently made a number of consecutive holiday-time visits to Pho Thang Long in Fairfax and I must write that it's better than ever, and consistently so.

The broth is the best, by far, of anything in this area. I stick with the Pho Tai.

I am definitely a Pho regular at kitchens around the world, preferring it only slightly to Bibimbap or Ramen, all delicious. Is there ay decent ramen in the DC area -- only NYC has satisfied me in this department.

Jim

Jim, thanks for your thoughts on pho, bibimbap, and ramen (we need a ramen shaman). Here are some places for you to try, if you haven't:

Pho: Pho Hot in Annandale, Pho 75 in Rosslyn, Pho 88 in Beltsville

Bibimbap: Somewhere in Annandale, seriving the Dol Sot (stone pot) version - this could be a humble as the 24-hour Yechon, or some other place that has come and gone. If I were on a mission, and price was no object, I'd start at Woo Lae Oak in Annandale (they serve it) while looking at some of the other menus in Annandale online in parallel. (I'm of the opinion that the only great Bibimbap is Dol Sot Bimbimbap, so if you disagree, your parameters will be different than mind. Heck, you might even want to try Mandu downtown, although quite frankly I've never been a fan because I think their food is bland. There could easily be a place that has popped up in Centreville or Ellicott City in recent years that has flown under the radar - I can't remember the last time anyone ever asking for advice about Bibimbap.

Ramen: Ren's Ramen, The downstairs ramen shop at Daikaya Izakaya, and Toki Underground. Those are the three you should explore, and any of the three could be your favorite.

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