You could say that this pho was just what the doctor ordered. Well, kind of. The last time I saw my GP, we were talking about my diet and he asked if I liked Asian food. I mentioned where we had eaten recently and he said no, you need to go here, instead, for Vietnamese food. But "here" was a description – not a name- on Pat Mell Road, near the intersection with South Cobb Drive, behind a Hispanic tire store. Sounds simple enough…
We had actually had carry out pho for dinner on Friday night, but, after playing at a benefit in Marietta, were heading home at supper time. It's not often we are in Smyrna, so I figured we'd give it a try. As we drove down South Cobb Drive, and approached my childhood mall (Cobb Center), I saw the Tire Outlet (with plenty of signs in Spanish) and turned by it, into the strip mall facing Pat Mell. We drove by a taqueria and a Mexican restaurant then saw Pho Hoang Long with a Vietnamese grocery attached.
This saying on the chalkboard portrays their philosophy:
I decided to try a com dish – com bo luc lac (shaking beef), which is my litmus test dish for a Vietnamese restaurant, and my beloved ordered the pho.
She opted for a pho with a chicken broth, as opposed to a typical pork bone broth. This was a medium bowl – we saw the small (slightly smaller) and large (much larger), at tables around us. The broth had many layers of flavors, but we both decided we like pork broth better.
My shaking beef was fork tender, well spiced and piping hot. There was not an abundance of sauce (or of beef), but I liked the flavor. I actually ended up ordering pork egg rolls (after receiving them decided that I really want spring rolls) after devouring my plate. Next time, I'll choose the pho life, instead.