Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Pho is the ultimate Vietnamese restaurant food

If you are serious about food and have not yet visited one of the Coast’s great Vietnamese restaurants, then you leave me at a loss for words. To be sure, this is not fine dining, and to be honest, most of the cooks are not classically trained, but they will make for you food that you will not soon forget.

Pho, the national dish of Vietnam is a delicious beef broth soup, loaded with thin slices of beef and rice noodles. Super chef Anthony Bourdain called it "a steaming bowl of goodness," but that's not all, not by half.

Have you ever had a Vietnamese-style pork chop, slightly charred, and served with steamed jasmine rice? Another favorite is clay pot pork, which is a sweet, caramelized dish that will blow you away with tender pork and a sauce that goes so incredibly well with rice. A little closer to home is Banh Mi, think of it as Vietnamese po-boy, born of Vietnam's long association with France. The BBQ pork version with cilantro and jalapeño peppers is divine.

But my favorite, especially this time of the year is the beef stew. It is so aromatic, seasoned with Thai cinnamon and star anise, and the result is deep and rich, and just perfect for a cool fall day.

No recipe this time, this is restaurant food, but visit Kim Long in Biloxi or Ocean Springs, Henry's Café and Bakery in D'Iberville, Pho in Ocean Springs, Phi Noodle House, D'Iberville, Chef Scott's in Ocean Springs, Fortune Pho 75 in Biloxi, What the Pho, D'Iberville, and lastly New Orleans Style Po-Boys, also in D'Iberville or any others I you may know about that I do not.