Dish 128: Fish and chips at Pub & Kitchen, 19th and Lombard, http://www.thepubandkitchen.com
I do not wish to discuss this meal. Pub and Kitchen seems like a lovely establishment, and I look forward to describing it when I visit a second time for the banger sandwich.
Dish 129: #12 Tai Chin at Pho 75, Race between 10th and 11th
Lady J, mistress of the Villanova Costume Shop, speaks highly of this pho soup, and whenever she sends one of the girls to the Jomar (fabric store) in South Philly, she demands that they stop at the Washington Avenue location. And like most of her demands, this order will be followed because in the end, it will become clear that she is right. Lady J is always right.
I was first surprised at the speed—less than 2 minutes—in which the order was filled, and then by the weight of the to-go bag—hefty! This is a medium? Back at the office, I unpack my booty. One quart of broth, check. One bag of bean sprouts and thin sliced hot peppers, check. One pint-size takeout box of strips of beef and a white mountain of noodles, check. Sriracha. (YES.) Hoisin. (Yuck.) Chopsticks. Spoon. Ready for action.
Word to the wise, don’t put all of the goodies into the broth at once. After cleaning up a fragrant spill on the Gulf Coast of Two Liberty, I tasted the soup and poured in the Sriracha with gusto. A second taste. Kimchi, the heat and the flavor and the color of kimchi came pouring back into my mind, and, mouth burning, eyes watering gleefully, I devoured every last noodle and bean sprout in that plastic container, happy childhood memories of rice and spam with a helping of kimchi floating through my mind. I don’t think she loves it for the same reason—even though our hometowns are right next to one another—but now I understand why Lady J craves Pho 75.