I’m not a veggie, I love meat. In fact, I actually need meat as it contains high levels of Iron, something that I am permanently low on. That’s not to say that I can’t go without it. But this hasn’t always been the case. Coming from an Italian/Iranian background, meat comes high on the menu (at least in my family). There was a time a few years ago where I wouldn’t have ordered a meal without meat – I wouldn’t have considered it to be an actual meal and feared that I would be hungry!Luckily those feelings are long gone and now we aim to have two meat free meals a week due to our growing awareness of the Meat Industry.
Joe and I were invited into the Brighton Pho to try their veggie options for #MeatFreeWeek and I was very excited. Meat Free Week is a global campaign to get you thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact eating too much has on your health, animals and the environment.
I actually love Pho, I work right next to it so I sometimes grab a Pho to go at lunch, but Joe was a Pho-Virgin, and keen to go.
We arrived and were shown to our table by a very lovely lady, who helped us pick our veggie options. She also asked us about any other allergies/intolerances. The great thing about Pho is that is is largely gluten free and can easily be made nut free.
For drinks, Joe ordered a Saigon Lager, imported from Vietnam, and I had a Rose Apple Bellini (Prosecco with a splash of Táo Mèo).
We started with Gỏi cuốn (Fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, vermicelli & pickle) and Chả giò (Crispy spring rolls served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip) for starters. Both were delicious, but very different textures which adds to the mix as both are basically spring rolls. I do love the rice paper summer rolls, they are soft and served cold, but packed with goodness and refreshing. Joe seemed pleased with his experience so far.
For mains, Joe decided to get the Pho’s signature dish, a type of Vietnamese soup, typically made from beef stock and spices/herbs that you add to taste – which noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken are added. Phở nấm rơm is made with vegetable stock and a selection of mushrooms. True to form, Joe added all the chili and was a very happy boy. I think he would be keen to try the meat version on our next trip!
I usually get the Nem nuong pork balls with bun noodles, but with pork off the table, I decided to try something different and I went with the Tofu Cà-ri. Described on the menu as Vietnamese curry packed with veggies & mushrooms, topped with nuts & served with fragrant broken rice, I thought it was delicious, although a lot heavier than the meals that I am used to from Pho. I love tofu when it’s cooked correctly and Pho’s was perfect, too often it can be dry of rubbery, but on this occasion it was not the case.
Now, Joe isn’t really a sweets guy, so I ordered a Banana Frittata and Coconut Ice Cream, which we ended up sharing! I’m a sucker for Banana Frittata and the Coconut Ice Cream was such a lovely contrast.
Whether you are a veggie or not, I would highly recommend Pho – it’s a great place to go for rather healthy meals, they serve all sorts of fresh juices too. Best of all if you are in a hurry they do ‘Pho-To-Go’ with smaller (and cheaper) servings of some of their menu.
Are you a Pho-virgin?
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