Saturday, October 28, 2006

for value Vietnamese in Chicago try TANK

Yesterday after visiting a local Halloween fair here in Chicago with Samuel and his friend Joel, we all were a bit chilled from the brisk winds, so we decided to take ourselves to TANK (in Vietnamese it called Pho Xe Tang, at 4953-55 North Halstead) several miles north of downtown where our friends live.

Tank was jammed, mostly with Asians, and they all were devouring these bowls of soup with noodles, which looked awfully good to us chilly folks. While the kids munched on STIRFRIED EGG NOODLES (available crispy or soft) with CHICKEN & MIXED VEGETABLES (Sam loved the noodles and chicken, while Joel claimed it to be a bit spicy, which it indeed was), we all ordered the giant bowls (Pho) with various ingredients. I opted for the VIETNAMESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP with SLICED BEEF, WELL DONE BRISKET and SOFT TENDON. The guys at the next table warned me that the ingredients were for the adventurous, so I chose carefully. Indeed, the soups come from one huge pot and when they ladled mine into my bowl in the kitchen some of the BIBLE TRIPE also made its way in. The tripe was almost cabbage-like with little bumps on it resembling a very soft squid. The soft tendons were a beef cartilige that was slightly chewy, about the consistency of a soft gummy bear and was quite tasty. The meats and noodles were excellent and the broth warming to our cold insides. A plate of BEAN SPROUTS, Cilantro, Basil, Jalapeno Slices and Lime Wedge accompanies each PHO bowl for seasoning and made for quite an amazing and filling meal at $6.95!

If you do get to TANK, be sure to save room for a wonderful FRUIT SMOOTHIE. Samuel, Will and I shared the STRAWBERRY,BANANA, COCONUT (you can mix any of a dozen or so fruits) which came with slices of mango and strawberry on top and was also quite large and filling. More on dining with kids in Chicago later...