Pho (pronounced "fuh") rhymes with "duh" and it's the only Vietnamese word I know. I'm a certifiable phonatic, and thanks to the globalization that brought Vietnamese cuisine to the US, I only need travel to Bloomfield for a satisfying pho fix.
Pho, a popular street food as well as the national dish of Vietnam, is essentially a rice noodle soup with broth, spices and herbs, and depending on what region of Vietnam you're eating, a variety of garnishes and sauces as well.
I'm no medical doctor, but a steamy bowl of pho will set you right - no matter the ailment: hangover, sore throat, congestion, irritability. A good pho broth is a magical tonic for rehabilitation and invigoration.
Located in the East West market at 61 Belleville Avenue in Bloomfield, Bing Duong is not the most photogenic of eateries, but it matters not. Bing Duong is a traditional Vietnamese restaurant and a veritable pho clinic. People fill the dining room, line up outside, and call in their orders for a swift take out.
Bing Duong has a variety of pho served in beef broth with bean sprouts, basil, lime, hoisin sauce and hot sauce on the side. There's the house combo pho ($7.95), a combination of rare beef, well done beef, brisket, tendon and tripe, as well as the Pho with beef ball or fish ball ($6.50). My pho of choice is the rare beef pho ($6.50).
Not to be phocentric, I usually have a few side items to go along with my pho. At Bing Duong the summer rolls ($3.95) are good, but crisp spring rolls ($4.95) are better! Wrapped in a piece of Romain lettuce with a few mint leaves tucked in, then dipped in mirin, they are good to go in my mouth! Another notable favorite, on the lighter, tangier side of the palate, is the shrimp and papaya salad ($9.95).
For more on Binh Duong, read Jason Perlow's Off The Broiler review, here.
61 Belleville Ave
Bloomfield, NJ 07003