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Archive for Sunday, December 2, 2012

Off the Beaten Plate: Pho Combination Bowl at Little Saigon Café

December 2, 2012

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The Pho Combination Bowl (with beef, meatballs, tripe and tendons) at Little Saigon Café, 1524 B W. 23rd St.

The Pho Combination Bowl (with beef, meatballs, tripe and tendons) at Little Saigon Café, 1524 B W. 23rd St.

Honey Fried Banana Topped with Roasted Sesame Seeds, one of the desserts at Little Saigon Café, 1524B W. 23rd St.

Honey Fried Banana Topped with Roasted Sesame Seeds, one of the desserts at Little Saigon Café, 1524B W. 23rd St.

Off the Beaten Plate
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The Pho Combination Bowl is Little Saigon Café’s largest, beefiest bowl of pho — a steaming, fragrant Vietnamese beef broth soup with noodles, bean sprouts, scallions and basil. And unless you eat beef tripe (stomach/intestines) and tendons (connective tissue) regularly, it’s safe to say it’s also their most exotic.

This dish is packed with sliced beef, meatballs, tripe (white, fibrous and, ah, textured) and tendons (gelatinous, collagenous and melt-in-your-mouth).

A sign on the door of the restaurant, which opens at 10 a.m., defines pho for newbies and notes: “Pho is perfect for any time of day, breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

Where to get it: Little Saigon Café, 1524 B W. 23rd St.

What you’ll pay: $8.50, plus tax

Try it with: A swirl of hoisin sauce and a swirl of sriracha sauce, stirred into the broth for extra flavor and heat. Little Saigon’s owners say this is the way they like it.

Also on the menu: All things Vietnamese — spring rolls, pho with chicken or beef, bun (vermicelli noodles), beef stew, meat or vegetarian entrees and bubble tea. For dessert, there’s fresh fried mini donuts or honey fried banana topped with roasted sesame seeds.

Restaurant website: littlesaigonlawrence.com

— Off The Beaten Plate highlights some of the more exotic, oddly named or inventively concocted (for better or worse) dishes from local menus. Know of an offbeat menu item we should check out? Email food and features reporter Sara Shepherd at sshepherd@ljworld.com. Tweet her at Twitter.com/KCSSara.

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