This Week In F**k You: Pho

03.13.14 4 years ago 225 Comments


Whether it’s 3 a.m. after a bar closes, or wandering around during the day killing time, or me being vocal about having a cold, I constantly have eating pho suggested to me. I’m sick of the suggestion and I’m never eating that disgusting food again. Pho reminds me of when my grandmother used to babysit me and for dinner she’d throw every thing she found in the fridge and boil it in tap water, a habit I’m sure she developed during World War II and never was able to shake. I get it. Nazis are terrifying, and she had to gather root vegetables and curious sides of mystery meat to avoid dying. I applaud her for how industrious she is, but I’m an adult with no mortgage and no children and no Nazis (so far). I don’t need to willingly eat a bowl of hot rainwater poured over fish nightmares (to quote Kyle Kinane).

I’m tired of hearing about pho. Not in the way that I’m tired of hearing about some hot band or something. I’m tired of literally HEARING it said out loud, mostly because in North America, one out of every two people will pronounce it the apparent proper way, “fu”. Listen you oh so worldly gentleman, I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t anyone in Vietnam saying to each other, “Actually it’s pronounced ‘Baconnaise’”. Nobody’s impressed with your phrasebook-level pronunciation key, and you sound like you were trying to suggest we go for late night “fudge” but developed a lightning quick and temporary case of Bell’s palsy.

phoAlso: some are clearly racists. via

This is what happens with gourmets (I’ve resigned to never say “foodie” ever again, because I’m not brain dead): they frequent places that are upstart restaurants that find whatever the cheapest cut of meat is at the butcher, and sell it to the bourgeois as a hip, east side food, and charge up the urethra for it. As the new, low quality cut of meat becomes popular; the least popular takes its place. It’s a cycle. We saw it with brisket not too long ago. This is why whenever I express my complete disinterest with eating a hot bowl of salty brine poured over ass curd and boiled snake snout, someone inevitably tells me that I haven’t had “good pho” or that there’s some new pho place that opened up that I have to try (which is inevitably just a pho place without fluorescent lighting or anyone but white people, that charges $25 a bowl). Not only is pho served in dirty kitchens that are open all night for no particular reason, but also now it’s unavoidable for yuppie birthday parties.

You know how I know you don’t even like pho? You all smother it in that red, hot sauce and brown puzzle sauce. After the first spoonful, everyone who eats this garbage juice poured over vegetables (that are one day away from retirement) winces and drowns it in unlabeled, table sauces that are probably made from unfinished, fermented pho that’s thrown away by people who came to their senses the last time they were in the restaurant.

“No really, Trevor. This stuff is top notch!”

/empties bottles of vinegar-based, room temperature terror gravy over entire bowl

If you’re insisting on cheap, Vietnamese food, there are Bánh mì sandwiches everywhere all the time. It’s cilantro and meat and whatever vegetables on a baguette. The baguettes are usually toasted far in advance, so you kind of have to ash it like a cigar while eating it, but it’s usually fewer than four bucks. It’s pretty much the best thing that came out of the French occupying Vietnam. Eat those, and keep your compost puke stew away from me.

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