A couple of blustery Saturdays ago, snow swirling, tummy rumbling, I made yet another happy trek to Salt Lake City’s most recently talked-about Vietnamese pho restaurant—Pho Tay Ho. Because when it’s cold outside, few soups satisfy like slithery rice noodles in a perfect broth, punctuated with shards of tender meat, fresh condiments and a squirt of spicy Sriracha sauce.
I didn’t really intend to write about the place, as many local pho aficionados already know about owner Hoang Mai’s perfectly balanced beef broth—a long-simmered brew, artfully enhanced with hints of cinnamon and brought to its full potential with the addition of fragrant, fresh Thai basil at the table. But, as I was dining with a “pho virgin” that day, and we sat in an empty restaurant, I realized that despite all of the buzz, perhaps not everyone knows about this little gem. So, in case you’ve missed it, Pho Tay Ho is situated in a brick bungalow on Main Street, near 1700 South—hardly an ethnic “food row,” but an easy destination with plenty of street parking.
Inside, the impeccably clean house sports fresh paint, neutral colors, and a view straight into the kitchen from the host stand. It’s all very intimate and family-run—with gracious, if informal, hospitality.
And oh, that pho: $5 for a generous “small” bowl; $6 for a really large one. Choose among the menu’s 15 recommended variations—a rather confusing list that posits every conceivable combination of rare steak, well-done flank, tendon, well-done brisket and tripe. I like the chicken or the dense little “meat balls.” Enjoy your pho in the house, or get it to go—the separate elements all perfectly packaged for assembly—in your own home.
Pho Tay Ho
1766 S. Main