There is no Hong Kong Market or Bellaire (or 99 Ranch Market or Bolsa, if you are Californian) in College Station, but there is Vietnamese food here. Rosie’s Pho (noodle soup) opened about two years ago. We were among their first customers, and the owner of the place, Ms Hồng, even remembered me when I came back a few months later with my friends. Talk about hospitality. (Guess how we know she’s the owner: hồng means rose in Vietnamese.)
We came early for lunch. When we finished our meal at around 12:30, the place was a whole lot more crowded. It’s good to sit again at the familiar booth we always sit, close to the entrance and far away from the kitchen’s action. It’s also good to see the same ole expression on the cashier’s face, definitely not unfriendly, but so contemplative that makes me wonder if he has important exchange going on at the stock market or something of sort. It feels casual, and you don’t need to put up big smiles here for a show of warmth. The warmth comes to you in a bowl.
I ordered a the-more-the-merrier karnival of beef brisket, tendon, flank, and tripe phở. Large bowl. Huge mistake. No, WAIT. No. Don’t leave. Let me explain. The mistake is mine, not the pho’s or the cook’s. I had no idea what I was up against (I don’t remember it being like this before). For all its goodness and meatiness and brothiness, as you can see above, look at the size of the bowl! I could take a bath in there. And I would drown. But before I do, shall we take a minute to spot the white bundle at 4-5 o’clock of the bowl? It’s Tripe. Tendon and Flank were camera-shy and hidden under Brisket. If you are grossed out by the thought of eating anything animalia, muscle, but non-flesh, offensively commonly known as offals, and think that they taste gross, let me beg to differ that they are texture food, and they do have their unique charms. If you chew gum, why not give tripe a try?
The herb plate accompanying the USS Pho here has the basics: cilantro, rau hung, rau ram, bean sprout, interestingly-cut pieces of lime, and (the American substitution for cayenne pepper) jalapeno. I eat my pho without any condiments or herbs, but little mom likes the greens and the bean sprout…
… which makes her bowl look so much prettier than mine.
(To be continued)
Address: Rosie’s Phở – Asian noodle soup
2001 Texas Ave S #300
College Station, TX 77840