Bubble Tea and Pho

Prior to this afternoon, I had never tasted Vietnamese food before.  So when a friend suggested that we try a Vietnamese restaurant to celebrate her birthday, I was excited.  I couldn’t wait to try bubble tea, the mysterious drink I’d heard so much about, and pho, the hot Vietnamese rice noodle soup.

I tried to take a few pictures so that I could share the experience here.

The food was wonderful.  I loved the coconut-flavored bubble tea that I chose.  It was a smoothie-type variation of the drink, sans tea, and it was very hard for me to choose a flavor because there were so many tasty options on the menu: almond, banana, mango, strawberry, watermelon, even taro!  I almost chose the taro, but decided that coconut was a safer bet.  The restaurant included a generous amount of the tapioca pearls that make bubble tea so unique, and even added a bit of lychee jelly to my cup for me to sample, free of charge.  Bubble tea can also be made with black tea, green tea, or coffee — which I may try next time.

The pho surprised me.  I did not think I would like it, but it was more flavorful than I anticipated.  The broth was much richer than it appeared, and dare I say it, more appetizing and savory than chicken broth?

The "everything" pho, before I added the toppings.

I chose a pho with a taste of all the meats the restaurant serves, including: beef, tripe, and tendon, to name a few.  I especially enjoyed the mix-ins: fresh cilantro and basil leaves, lime wedges, jalapeño pepper slices, and bean sprouts.  I finished topping my bowl with a swirl of Sriracha or hot, red chili sauce.

A tasty bowl of pho.

I can’t wait to go back for another bubble tea, with actual tea next time!