Friday, July 2, 2010

For those of you who know me, I have NEVER been a fan of Vietnamese food... so why have I just titled this "My New Addiction"? It's all about the ox tail! O=9 Pho 79 is a well known place to many for their pho. I never had the urge to give them a try because I wouldn't want to waste my time driving out to Garden Grove just for pho when I don't even like it. PK is visiting right now so we decided to meet up in GG. She had a hankering for some beef and bread so she chose Pho 79. I am always willing to try new places even if it isn't quite exactly my cup of tea. Pho 79 is tucked away behind a liquor store and has its own parking lot. They open really early and close by 8pm. I wouldn't want to be in that lot too late anyways.
What better way to begin the night than to enjoy a refreshing Avocado Shake. It was smooth and light. You can taste the natural flavor and texture of the avocado. They don't make it to sweet, but dangerous because you can drink a ton of this without a second thought! O=P
PK really wanted Beef Stewed with French Bread. Many Asian restaurants have a version of this dish. Here they stewed the beef cubes with carrots and onions. Typically they use chunks of fatty meat or meat with a lot of tendons. The beef is stewed for a long period of time so that it should fall apart easily in your mouth. For me, the simplest way to consume this dish was to first dip the bread in the sauce then grab a piece of beef and eat them together. The stew was lighter than I thought and sweeter, but still good. Some pieces of the meat were a little tough and chewy to PK. This dish really brought back memories of Killer Shrimp, oh how I miss them!
We shared a big bowl of Pho, the 79 Superbowl. You will find a mixture of tendon, tripe, rare & cooked beef on top of noodles and drenched in soup. Be sure to submerge the rare meats in the piping hot soup to cook. On the side you always get bean sprouts, basil, lime, and more on the side to add in. To be honest, I didn't really think their pho was anything special when I was eating there. Maybe I was too full or just not in the mood? Yet when I returned home and ate the leftovers later that night... YUM! Of course it was not only because of the pho but with the help of the following dish...
I almost don't want to share this secret with everyone else because it's mine! lol The price is undeniably on of the best deals. For $1.50 you can get a nice bowl of Ox Tail to yourself. It's nicely stewed ox tail meat that's full of flavor and melts in your mouth. Of course I know this can sound weird to a lot of people or be an acquired taste. I was never a big fan or had a huge interest in ox tails but I was amazed by the amount of tender meat they offered. Apparently ox tail meat is actually not that cheap and coveted by a lot of Asians. At Pho 79 you can get it super cheap and tasty.
The best art is to mix the pho and ox tail together! To be honest I didn't think the ox tail was all that after the first bite and took most of it home. In a fluke experiment, I packed the the pho and ox tail together because I was being lazy and wasn't going to be the one to consume it later anyway. After the movies that night, I was getting a little hungry since I packed most of the stuff home and took out the left overs. It was still luke warm so I took a bite and BAM! Wow! What flavor and tenderness! I just had to have more and started eating from the box. Then I was nice enough to share with the rest of the gang and they all loved it. Can't beat the price on top of that!
All in all it was a surprising experience. The whole time I was there I thought, "Hmm, what's the big deal?" Now I know better. I love it and am not afraid to say it. Even though Pho 79 is not close by to my house, I have already made another effort to grab myself some yummy Vietnamese food and leftovers for the week. Coming from me, this is a super high praise because I normally disdain Vietnamese food. I still get a lot of shocking expressions and gasps from people when I tell them that I really like this place! lol It's all about the ox tail and price!

Pho 79
9941 Hazard Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 531-2490
Pho 79 on Urbanspoon

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