Pho (pronouced “fuh”) is a hearty Vietnamese soup that’s grown in popularity with diners throughout America, and by extension, Tampa over the past few years. Along with the coveted Banh Mi sandwich, these Vietnamese staples have been popping up more and more over Tampa Bay’s vibrant culinary landscape.
Pho Hoang, located in the Publix shopping center off Highway 301 in Riverview, fits right into this criteria. While blandly sparse and equally small, Pho Hoang is a great destination to grab a bowl of some authentic Pho and a handful of other Vietnamese culinary staples that please both the palate and wallet.
Pho Hoang’s specialty, as you might guess, is the Vietnamese soup and complete meal in itself, Pho. Their menu comes lined with a huge variety of Pho with filling selections that range from combinations of chicken and meatballs to thin slices of flank steak, beef tendon, tripe, and more.
If your dining sensibility is as adventurous as ours, a Pho combination of flank steak, beef tendon, and tripe will give you a real sense of what this hearty soup meal is all about. A large order comes in a hulking bowl complete with savory broth, rice noodles, scallions, and the aforementioned proteins.
It’s a cornucopia of flavor and texture that’s nothing short of a heartwarming, slurp-able delicacy. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve never tasted tripe or tendon before. Tripe is a weird piece of animal with a weird, tentacle-y, and rubbery texture I just couldn’t stomach. Tendon, though, oh tendon, comes in fatty, ribbon-like strips that just melt on the palate.
The flank steak is equally savory. Near-rare and cooked by the soup’s hot broth, the flank works as a salty, savory component that’s damn-near life affirming paired with a hearty bite of rice noodles.