Pho 79 
Most menus offer very little in the way of guidance to the customer. The worst offenders are so obscure that they mask what the server will eventually bring you. Crab, shrimp & corn. Is that a soup? The vast majority do a fine job of offering up the variety of items on offer with brief descriptions. Occasionally a picture. We like pictures. At Pho 79 you are presented a choose your own adventure style menu. A guided tour of the world of pho.
It starts with a paragraph about what pho is and then offers selections for the beginner. Steak, brisket and meatballs. Real pedestrian stuff. If you are feeling adventurous they offer more advanced paths. Bible tripe and soft tendon. The novelty of the menu and the tale it tells are worth the first trip alone. It was not what we expected from this stand alone shop right off Staples Mill.
Novelty doesn’t fill our bellies with delicious soup though. Thankfully Pho 79 has the chops to back up all of their menu fueled potential. Ethan had the Pho Tai Nam. A giant bowl of broth, noodles, fresh veggies, round steak and well done brisket. He picked from the advanced menu which meant and I quote “These beef cuts have a slight covering”. Neither of us could figure out exactly what that meant. I had the Pho Tai, Chin Nac which had the same exact ingredients sans a “slight covering”. More fat left on the meat? Maybe? In any case we both loved our pho. The beef was tender and well seasoned. The broth was a meal on it’s own.
We also had a Fried Pork Egg Roll (Ethan) and a Shrimp Spring Roll (Adam) to start our meals. Neither of us had much to say about them. Pretty standard and serviceable for the most part. Go for the pho and skip the rolls for a larger bowl.
Pho 79 is a great place to introduce a novice to the world of Vietnamese food. The menu is friendly and offers enough variety for even a seasoned eater. Their main offering, it’s in the name, is on point. The prices were reasonable (sub $10 per) and the service was friendly. Make time for it.
Lunch topics: work, Google Now, Agents of SHIELD, Moto X, transition to Android, Back to Work, Omnifocus is $20, Overcast, GTA V vs. SR4, cellular data caps, Republic Wireless, keg shopping, Tasker, iOS 7 control center, PC tinkering and gaming