We are in the middle of a serious cold snap. With temperatures barely breaking into the 20s, the constant sub-freezing temperatures have had us craving some seriously comforting and heart-warming foods. Yesterday afternoon was no exception. And what’s more comforting than a giant bowl of Pho?
When searching for “pho” in midtown, Obao is one of the first spots to show up. It’s been a popular Seamless restaurant among New Yorkers for years but I had yet to try it! So what did I order? A Pho Bo Soup (obviously). And to supplement the warm soup dish, I also got an order of crispy spring roll lettuce wraps and a side of Chinese broccoli. Did it arrive warm? Did the food taste OK?
Yes it arrived and yes it was fairly warm and yes it tasted more than OK.
I first dug into the Pho. In case you’re unfamiliar Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup containing sliced rare beef, braised brisket and rice noodles in a ginger anise beef broth. As with the ramen a few weeks ago, Obao packaged the broth and the noodles separately. I opened up the plastic container of broth and was immediately hit with a strong, but amazing scent of anise and ginger. The colorless noodles had congealed together in a separate container. Once I plopped all the noodles into the broth, I swirled them around for a few minutes, and the noodles softened and naturally separated. Along with the noodles the dish contained a fun addition of beef balls! The balls added some nice meatiness, but I wasn’t in love with them. They were quite dense and didn’t have as much great flavor as the regular beef and broth.
After the main event of soup, I went on and devoured the crispy spring rolls and Chinese broccoli. The crispy spring rolls were described as a lettuce wrap with pork, shrimp, taro, and mushrooms. I was thinking the rolls would be wrapped in lettuce and less of a doughy roll. Regardless of the extra carbohydrates, I liked it. They had a really nice heat to them and were filled with savory mushroom and tofu. I did miss out on the pork and shrimp flavor however. After the somewhat greasy spring rolls, the Chinese broccoli was a good healthy-ish treat. I ate the entire container of greens in under 5 minutes. I love the oyster sauce they came in and the greens were crunchy and salty. Made me feel somewhat healthy after quite a large lunch.
I look forward to ordering more from Obao in the future. They have an awesome menu of delicious lunch specials perfect for the office worker.