Beef noodle soup is always one of my favorite food no matter what kind. Vietnamese Pho is one kind that I love and despise at the same time. Love it because a good broth can have a great flavorful blend with basil, lime juice, and beef; also, it’s normally inexpensive but filling. However, I hate it because majority of the broth I tasted is fake or MSG heavy. Therefore, I rarely go out and buy pho unless I found one place that has genuine broth.
Mr. Big is recently obsessed with one of the food shows of Luke Nguyen, a Vietnamese chef who was born in Thailand, grew up in Australia, and traveled throughout Vietnam to demonstrate all kinds of Vietnamese cuisines on the streets or little food stands.
After watching a couple shows, we both have strong craves for Vietnamese dishes. 🙂 AN LOI is one of the Vietnamese restaurants in our area that has higher ratings and I read some reviews mentioned its broth doesn’t have strong MSG taste. Why not give it a try?
The location is very convenient near the shopping district with large parking space. Seating is quite decent and clean. But it is more like an “Americanized” store layout with bigger space, ice water and napkins. I’m not sure how authentic the food would be but I’m not Vietnamese either. 😛
I’m not a big fan of the Vietnamese summer roll personally. I never understand the combination of rice noodle skin wrap with more rice noodles in the rolls which presents a very starchy texture, but I would love to try out their deep fried spring rolls as appetizer.
I don’t recommend this dish…. It is crispy. And that’s it. I can’t really tell what the stuffing is and the ground pork-ish filling has a very slight rancid odor which turns the whole dish off to me.
I’m glad at least the pho didn’t let me down completely.
The broth, the soul of a bowl of beef noodle soup, is clear, not too salty, but flavorful. I would say I can still taste a little MSG in there. However, it is within the acceptable range unlike some other places.
They are quite generous on the meat and vegetables as you can see in the picture. 🙂 The steak and flank slices are very tender and well cooked. Beef balls, on the other hand, didn’t outstand from all these toppings. (I’m not sure it is made from beef though.)
Next time, if there is a next time, I would just have a bowl of pho without the beef balls and no appetizers.
唉… 只可惜Yelp 的評比真的是僅供參考，這間店簡單來說就是: 沒有太多亮點，主角Pho表現不差，但也不是我吃過最好吃的。我們還點了炸春捲，皮滿脆的…但內餡不知道加了什麼，還有吃到一點點油耗味。喔! 還有，店前面的停車場很大，就這樣了~
Restaurant: AN LOI
Address: 7104 Minstrel Way, Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: (410) 381-3188
Price: USD$8-15/ person