Just when you finally got the correct pronunciation of pho down, a new guy rolls into town serving Hu Tieu My Tho (hoo-teew-mee-taw). Quick, say it five times fast! Mỹ Tho, a new restaurant located in Wing Phat Plaza at 11th & Washington (also home to Pho 75 and Nam Phuong), serves this delicious soupy cousin of pho in over 20 different variations.
Hu Tieu My Tho originated from the southern Vietnamese town of Mỹ Tho, translated to “Beautiful Reed,” as it sits at the base of the Mekong River.  The recipe stems from its Chinese and Cambodian neighbors; you’ll find it at any restaurant or street side cart all over south Vietnam.  In Philadelphia, it’s not only as big as a bowl of pho, it’s also as delicious and inexpensive.


Traditionally, the clear broth is simmered for hours with pork bones, can tau (Chinese celery), he (Chinese chives similar to green onions or ramps), dried squid and dried shrimp.  At Mỹ Tho restaurant, you have the option of noodles: hu tieu (chewy clear tapioca noodles), or mi (egg noodles), with a variety of meat/seafood toppings, including pork, shrimp, squid, liver, and fish. The porky broth is served mixed in with everything à la pho style, or you can opt to get it kho (dry) – broth on the side.  Overwhelmed with all the choices?  Be adventurous, and order number HM14 (house special) – the combo of both kho noodles with all the toppings, and finish it off with some chili sauce before digging in!

This is further proof that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Big line at Nam Phuong? Too much Pho 75 this week? Can’t possibly make it to 6th and Washington? Well, your list of options just went up by one.

Our only concern: if restaurants at Wing Phat keep experiencing so much success, whoever keeps building these massive suburban style shopping centers on Washington Ave. could be encouraged to build more. As fans of the urban lifestyle and believers in the idea that development should at least somewhat fit what surrounds it, we’d be loath to see additional construction that looks like Wing Phat Plaza. Hey, what’s going on at 23rd and Washington these days? Aw nuts.

23rd and Washington