When the winter weather really gets to me, and I can’t seem to warm up I tend to go into soup mode. I seek out comfort food in a bowl. I stir up up on my own stove, bubble some in a crock pot in my kitchen and seek some out at my favorite local restaurants.
We may be in the midst of a mid-winter warm-up, but when the road were coated in snow and ice not so long ago, I sought out a steaming bowl of Pho at Clawson’s Da Nang. And it really did the trick. This little Vietnamese spot at the corner of 14 Mile and Main Street is friendly and filled with deliciously spicy fare – perfect for anyone looking for a big bowl of comfort food.
The moment we sought refuge through those doors from the whipping winds and snowfall, I knew it had been too long since my last visit. We were seated at a table for two and quickly attended to by our server. Though I had eyes for a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, I was just chilled to the bone and decided against it this time.
We started with the Mixed Vegetable Tempura – which came out promptly and beautifully as little mashed assortments of potato, onion, carrot delicately tempura-fried and served alongside a mouth-watering sweet and sour sauce. The heaping plate was enough for a party of four (but we couldn’t stop ourselves!). We polished it off with delight.
Though the menu has much to choose from – Vietnamese Crepes, Lemongrass Chicken Wings, Roasted Game Hen, Pan-Fried Pork, I was there for Pho. I had my mind set on it. While I’ve already had the amazing Pho Tai, a giant bowl of rich beef noodle soup filled with vegetables, and I opted to try the vegetarian variety this time around.
Still flavorful and delicious, I did miss the beef flavor in the broth but the soup still came with a side plate assortment of fresh herbs, citrus and spices including basil. I love the tradition of assembling the soup. Adding spices and flavors as you go. It is as much an event as a meal.
Joining me in the experience, and on his first visit, my boyfriend Alex toiled over a decision, finally opting for the Ga Ca Ri, a Vietnamese Chicken Curry. I was immediately jealous of the thick chunk of bread that came with his stew. Having ordered it before, I knew it was also a tasty (and spicy) option.
We were both pleased with our choices – and a bit overwhelmed. I recall a few to-go boxes and delicious left-over lunches the next day.
If you haven’t made it to Da Nang, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try. Freezing temperatures or not, this is one menu you’ll want to return to, time and again.
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