I generally stick to Thanh Thanh 2 on Forest Ave. in Portland when I need a pho fix, but I recently discovered there’s another Vietnamese restaurant on St. John’s St. The place is called Huong’s Vietnamese Restaurant and it certainly did not disappoint. It’s nothing super fancy, but the service is super friendly and they do serve a great pho. I had a large classic pho ($8.95) that was full of braised brisket, super thin beef slices, beef meatballs and tripe. Tons of noodles. It was huge and super filling. I didn’t need to add anything to it to amp up the flavor. The broth might be a tad on the sweeter side, but still super satisfying. I also tried their fried squid. Super tender squid and a huge portion for $13.95.
Thanh Thanh 2 still holds a special place in my belly especially for their lemongrass pork, but it’s nice to have another option. So if you’re ever want a pho fix in Portland head to Huong’s right on St. John’s St. right off Congress St. just down the road from the Greyhound Station and Maine Medical Center. Also, it’s between 2 pretty awesome Asian markets – Hong Kong Market on Congress St. and Makot Pech on St. John St. Hong Kong Market is run by a nice Chinese family that always play classical music. They have a good variety of Asian foods, but are concentrated more on Chinese items. Once a week they get a shipment of Chinese pastries from Boston Chinatown which is a nice treat. Makot Pech is run by a super sweet Cambodian family. It’s a super small market, but they have a lot of Southeast Asian food supplies. They also carry some great Southeast Asian fruits like jackfruit and rambutan when in season. You can kill 2 birds with 1 stone when eating at Huong’s – great lunch and a great market trip.