The grime on the windows suggest that Pho Crystal Noodle House has been there on Bristol Street for quite a while--at least as another pho joint before new owners took it over. For all intents, the menu looks no different than what it probably was under the last regime. Pho is featured in all the usual permutations; rice dishes and crispy noodles fill in the rest; and then there's the hu tieu, a noodle soup as lovely as all that you've had before. The thin yellow strands will still have a nice al dente chew, and there were more shrimp, more char siu, more meat than you probably expected and with a flavor that's unmistakably pig. And there will be slowly wilting lettuce and, most important of all, a broth clear and sweet, like sugar was involved. All that's needed is a squeeze of lemon to round it all off and counteract the skittering bubbles of fat that escapes from the pieces of fried chicken they dropped in there. Fried chicken in a soup? Why the hell not?
When doing a cover story about noodles, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all the bad headlines that quickly pop into your cliché-addled brain. "Oodles of Noodles!" "Noodling Around!" "Noodle Knowledge!" "My Life As a Noodle!"... More »
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