The question of authenticity seems especially pertinent when it comes to food. I know that the Chinese food that I get a block away from my house is probably nothing like the food that I would eat if I were in China. Oftentimes we get an Americanized version of food. This said, how can you tell when food is authentic? I decided that while I was home, I would try some Pho, one of the most popular dishes originating in North Vietnam. Pho is typically eaten for breakfast, but is occasionally eaten as a snack or in addition to lunch or dinner. I've never had Pho before, even though there is a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant in a shopping center a few miles away from my parent's house. Even though I've known about this place for years, I've never been before. For some odd reason, Pho (and the Pho spot by my house) reminds me of an ex-boyfriend so I've tended to avoid it. He was obsessed with Pho and would grab it whenever he was close by. While I was originally weary of going to "his spot," it is about time that I conquered my fear of Pho.
I should probably add that I'm a picky eater. Very picky. For years and years I was a vegetarian. I was lactose intolerant. I was a. I was that kid who came to your house and couldn't eat anything. This has been a problem when traveling in the past. I have vowed that I will be a more open minded eater, and I'm trying desperately to try many new foods. It is my hope that by trying some of the foods that I'll be eating while traveling, will help with this process.
Pho is a typically beef noodle soup with a clear broth. Pho with beef is called Pho Bo and Pho with chicken is called Pho Ga. At Pho 88 I was able to choose what I wanted to add to my Pho. I had mine with beef, spring onion, and a few other indistinguishable vegetables. It was delicious and the price was right ($3 for a large bowl). I'm not sure, however, if the Pho that I tried will be similar to Pho I eat in Vietnam. I suppose there is no way to know if it was or not. Having some point of comparison though, will be beneficial. Perhaps, I'll find out that the Pho that I ate is nothing like real Pho, or maybe it will be similar. I'll have to report back in a few months.
The experience was very enjoyable. I had a good lunch, no ex-boyfriend run-ins, and got to try a new food.