16 June 2011

Healthy Vegans discover "Pho" while vintage shopping

One of our favorite aspects of being vegan is that it makes trips to new places doubly adventuresome.   Even on a recent weekend trot down to Long Beach, CA's Retro Row (4th street between Cherry and Junipero)
 A fun street filled with more than 40 vintage clothing, furniture and antique shops we happened upon an amazing vegan foodie find!
Deja Vu 
Although, we didn't end up with any vintage treasures we did stumble upon Number Nine and the legendarily popular "Vegan PHO".

 Number Nine
2118 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA 90814-1003
(562) 434-2009
The sleek modern restaurant was empty when we began our late lunch, but was packed by the time we concluded our "experience".
Before entering we studied the menu outside and then I politely asked at the counter if they had any suggestions for a vegan dish that would be oil free.  The wonderfully helpful staff asked back in the kitchen and sure enough something called Vegan Pho was w/o oil as long as we subtracted the fat block...  I mean tofu.  We took a seat ordered some drinks and in minutes the show began!

When the PHO arrived at our table I was SHOCKED!  I couldn't believe my eyes at the size of the soup bowl and all the garnishes.  I quickly googled "how to eat pho" and found this helpful website.   http://www.lovingpho.com/pho-corner-everything-pho/how-to-eat-pho/   (I ripped off and reworded a tiny bit everything below from them)

 "The best way to attack a steaming bowl of pho is to have chopsticks in one hand and a soup spoon in the other. Take in a little broth with your spoon, slurp in some to get a taste of it. Follow it up with the rice noodles using your chopsticks. Then select pieces of ingredients from the bowl and enjoy them individually or together with the broth and noodle. Easy. But there’s more."

The garnish plate contained bean sprouts, Thai basil, sliced chili and lime wedges. Along with an amazing hoisin sauce and hot chili sauce.
The low down on the garnishes: 
  • Bean sprouts are put in raw for the crunchy factor. Add a little at a time to maintain the crunchiness as you eat.
  • Add the peppers to achieve your desired level of hotness (we fight over them).
  • Lime juice adds tartness to the broth.
  • The basil leaves are stripped from the stems and can be shredded to bits by hand before they are placed in the bowl. For the best aroma and taste, don’t drop them all in at the same time in the beginning.  Tear the leaves in smaller pieces, and add them as you go to maintain freshest and uncooked flavor.
Fun finds like this is what being a Healthy Vegan is all about!


Lindsay (Happy Herbivore) said...

I've been following a low fat no oil vegan diet for years -- and I always have trouble navigating at restaurants, which seem so hell bent on using oil even when I ask them not too--what your secret in getting them to make you a fat-free meal?

Lex said...

Ask before entering or sitting down if they can help you :) Then they have to work for your business. Once you are sitting you're on their turf. Also, we hang out outside and read the menu and look confused, like we did at this particular place. When we asked it turned out they didn't use oil at all, just in a tofu which we had them leave out. Most of the time its just luck, not for lack of trying.

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