PoP Preview – Pho 14

DSCN7368, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Remember how psyched we were to hear about the new restaurant, Pho 14 located on Park Road just west of 14th Street?


Well, I was able to attend a soft opening for friends and family Sunday night and it was freaking phenomenal! Holy cow. All of the excitement and anticipation was worth it. It is so good. I had the Tai Gau (beef pho) which comes with onion, chives, cilantro and noodles. I’m not sure if you can tell from the photo but it comes in a nice big bowl and I was stuffed about half way through. There are 19 types of Pho that cost $8.95 for a large and $7.95 for a regular bowl.

I started out with a spring roll which was nice and fresh and comes with shrimp, pork, noodles, lettuce and a Hosin dipping sauce.


To top it off I had an iced coffee that was also really tasty.


The restaurant itself was quite comfortable with regular tables and chairs as well as a bar. So when will it be open to the public? The plan is this Thursday, March 19th but this is pending some final inspections. I will update as soon as it become final.


Full disclosure: since this was a practice opening for family and friends, I did not pay. This in no way influenced my description of how delicious everything was.

55 Comment

  • So. Effing. Excited.

    Not to be crude, but does that iced coffee remind anyone of “two girls one cup”? haha…

  • That pho looks delicious!

  • I guess the reason i’ve never had Pho is I like my Vietnamese food to go, like those excellent shrimp rolls or the fried spring rolls served there.But now’s the time to try and I don’t have to cross the park to Nam Viet on Connecticut, which is a favorite.

  • I thought pho places were supposed to have punny names, like Pho Shizzle, Pho Real, or Pho Pho-teen?

  • I’m so psyched about this! And I love the look on the baby’s face in the last picture.

  • holy crap ghost child

  • I don’t spose they have Banh Mi sammiches on the menu anywhere? I am so tired of driving out to 7 corners for my monthly fix.

  • I’ve seen that ghost kid before! The only way to get rid of his curse is to buy someone a bowl of pho within a week. Otherwise, you die.

  • Mmmm that pho looks fantastic, last weekend was perfect weather for a big bowl of pho. I’m excited to have a place to get (hopefully good) pho in the area. I love Four Sisters, but it is a bit far away…

    And I believe, it’s more that Thai restaurants have terrible puns, you know, Thai Tanic, Thai Tanium (that one’s pretty awful), Thaiphoon…. etc.

  • If the staff at Pho 14 speak enough english to understand the request “no cilantro” I will be there with bells on. That’s my big problem with Indian, Mexican, and lots of southeast Asian food… it’s loaded with cilantro, and I’ve often had a hard time communicating my request to leave it out. All of it. Not just the garnish. Even the stuff that’s chopped up too fine to see. Hell, I once had a waiter swear up and down he understood me: life-threatening allergy, absolutely no trace of cilantro allowed, etc etc. Then BOTH dishes I ordered AND my bloody mary came with big bushy cilantro garnishes. What is it with that noxious weed, anyway??

  • HHmmmmm I hope its good! Though that photo looks pretty meh and shows a distinct lack of noodles, sprouts, basil, etc etc…… Maybe just left out by the author? πŸ™‚

  • Prince Of Petworth

    There were tons of noodles they were just on the bottom of the bowl.

  • @Toby –

    You can “take out” Pho just as easily as anything else….they put the piping hot broth in plastic containers and put the noodles, meat (usually still raw at most places) and other veggies in a styrofoam container so you can make it at home just like you do in the restaurant. To be honest, I always eat pho as take out. I can’t WAIT to try this new place out!!

  • yaaaaaaaaaaaay for pho! POP, I believe the word you are looking for is “pho-nominal”

  • WDC: Your dislike of cilantro may be ingrained in your DNA. Cooks Illustrated just did a piece about this. Apparently, certain people who hate cilantro (does it taste like watery dish soap to you?) have some sort of genetic disposition that tells them “this stuff is nasty.”

    Personally, I love the stuff. Thanks to CI for finally giving me an acceptable explanation as to why some people can’t stand it. Unfortunately for WDC and others similarly situated, the old “try it enough times and you’ll like it” mantra might not work. Bummer.

  • Monkeyman – I know a place in Alexandria (very good pho) that has a quirky name. Pho is pronounce “fu”, and the place is named after the co-owner Kim. It’s called Pho Kim (say it fast).

    Can’t wait for the official opening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Holy cow, that looks AMAZING!! I can’t wait till that shop opens up, prices are a little high though. But I guess I’d pay a few bucks extra per bowl to not have to drive all the way up to Conn. Ave for a bowl of pho.

  • WDC, i hate cilantro too!! i swear im allergic to it as well..even when i dont know its there, i get ill after consumption.

    Jimmy D…was the article specific only to cilantro, or were there other herbs that have this affect?

  • I’ve heard that, Jimmy D. Unfortunately, it’s not just that it tastes icky to me, (yes, like soap) it’s that it causes severe inflammation in my mouth and throat. Nothing like a trip to the ER to ruin a nice dinner.

    I’ve also heard that the soap taste is an indicator of an allergy, even if it’s just a mild one. So those of us with the allergy protect ourselves from something that could kill us by recognizing it as a foul taste. Hooray for mother nature.

    So, um, yeah. Yay for cilantroless pho!

  • @Binklesworth – I’m a big fan of Pho King myself. Much better service than at Pho Q, or even Go Pho Yo Self.

  • I want me some Pho. now.

  • Cilantro allergy? Maybe you just shouldn’t eat Vietnamese food. My brother in law is severely allergic to peanuts and also allergic to soy, so pretty much avoids Asian food. It’s frustrating, but you can’t really go to a restaurant and ask for something that’s put in everything across the menu to not be in your food. Coriander powder, which is cilantro seeds, is in curry powder and garam masala–you simply cannot eat Indian food and avoid it, because it is in everything.

  • Imagine a pho restaurant next to a Chinese place: Pho King and Ho King. That’d be awesome.
    PoP – do they and/or will they serve beersh!?!!?!! Is an alcohol license part of the plan?

  • I hate cucumbers and just realized they do taste a little like soap to me. They taste very very very bitter. And gross.

  • Christopher: The article only mentioned cilantro, no other herbs.

  • There is also a genetic predisposition to being nauseous even thinking about brussels sprouts: http://www.bioedonline.org/picks/news.cfm?art=2801

  • Normally I’d say that those prices seems a little high for Pho (kind of like paying more than 5 bucks for a Cuban sandwich), but it’s still quite reasonable for the area, and the place looks CLEAN so I’d gladly pay it!

  • @ GeorgiaAve, if I can have it my way at Burger King, it would be an insult to a proper restaurant to expect *less* from them on the service front.

    I understand that some things are prepared in advance, and I’m happy to avoid those items. But it is not unreasonable to ask them to leave the handful of chopped cilantro (or anything else) out of a made-from-scratch dish like pho.

  • More importantly, how the Ph do you pronounce Pho? I thought I was correct with a standard “Fo”, but was recently told its more like “Fuh”. Anyone know?

  • does this place have any vegetarian dishes (wondering whether to invite vegetarian friends when i go check it out)?

  • @WDC “I can have it my way at Burger King, it would be an insult to a proper restaurant to expect *less* from them on the service front”

    SIGH. Maybe they don’t speak english. Maybe they don’t understand why someone who is allergic to cilantro is trying to eat Vietnamese food. Just seems like a weird post to me — oh yay, there’s a new restaurant!! I haven’t been there yet, but hope they will keep out one of their defining ingredients and I will be there with bells on!!

  • Being allergic to peanuts/tree nuts I agree that sometimes it’s better to give up on cuisine from certain regions. For example, Thai is completely out for me. Even if I was somehow able to perfectly communicate the nature of the allergy, I still wouldn’t be confident that the food is safe. Nuts permeate Thai kitchens to the same extent that (now that I think about it) cilantro permeates Pho.

  • Blame all the assholes that claim allergies but really are just picky eaters. They’re the reasons that restaurants sometimes don’t take allergy claims seriously and people get in trouble. Server’s tell me a lot of the time it goes like this: “Please no pepper, I’m allergic. Server: It is pre-seasoned, they can’t take it out. Customer: Well…then don’t add any extra pepper on top.”

  • Hi Everyone!!!

    Thank you for the great review as the website is still being made. There will be BANH MI on the menu along with some other rice dishes/vermicelli dishes πŸ™‚ I am very happy that everyone is enjoying the food. Please help spread the word and I hope everyone will enjoy the pho as much as you did!!!! I will post up a sample menu very soon and will let you guys know!! πŸ™‚

  • Best of luck to Pho 14! I absolutely adore this cuisine.

  • Banh mi! YAY!

    Just looked at the menu, up in the window – they have six (eight?) kinds of banh mi listed, including my favorite, pate cha. No apparent veggie banh mis, but one fish variety. Cost is $8.95 apiece, presumably plus tip since they don’t look like a carry-out place – steep compared to N. Va, but some of us don’t have cars…

  • Ok, I’m getting the hang of this.

    Per the Policy thread, I’m not allowed to express reservations about a yet-to-open restaurant because of its intended emphasis on a nightclub vibe or similarities to other places I didn’t like.

    And I’m not allowed to expess enthusiasm about a yet-to-open restaurant while hoping that they’ll accommodate my very annoying food restriction.

    Basically, if I don’t open my own restaurant, I have no right to have an opinion about anyone else’s. I should keep my money in my wallet instead of hope that local entrepreneurs might take my money and keep their cilantro.

    Check. Got any more rules I need to heed?

  • Thank you πŸ™‚ Pho 14 πŸ™‚ and welcome to the neighborhood!! And you’ll be serving Banh Mi?? This is great. No more schlepping out to the Eden Center. I can walk to your restaurant. Please re-post here when you have all you need to open to the public and you have an official opening date. I’ll be there!!

  • I stumbled on this little shindig on Sunday while route to Target. I can’t wait!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Just a quick update, they were unable to get their final inspection so they will not be open tonight (mar. 19). They should be open next week and I’ll post when I get the final word.

  • Is it open yet???

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Not yet. I’ll post when they get final inspection approval!

  • Pronunciation is more like “fuh”. So, wondering why there isn’t a Pho King? Probably on purpose.

  • I just checked on this [Fri 3/20/09]
    “will not be opened as expected until further notice”, due to an inspection delay!

  • Pho King is in Alexandria at 3108 Mount Vernon Ave. just south of Glebe Rd.

  • Not to frost your cookies, but I just passed by Pho 14 today…

    Mt. Pster is correct…

    Closed until further delay…

    This Pho better be better than the “faux pho” americanized crap served in Silver Spring.

  • they do have a tofu/veggie pho option on the menu – bring your vegetarian friends!

    I don’t know that they’ll have room for all of columbia heights in there though. In the 5 minutes I stood and looked at the ‘not yet open’ sign, I saw 3 other people stop and look longingly inside as well…

  • @banhmilover..the banh mi is 8.95 because you also get a choice of appetizer and soup πŸ˜‰

    yes…we are delaying on the opening not only due to inspection..but we are in the process of adding a few more items onto the menu!! πŸ™‚ yes there will be some vegetarian dishes!! πŸ™‚ i am almost done with the final menu and will be posting it up as soon as it is done πŸ™‚ stay tuned!!!

  • Pho should never cost more than $5.

  • Stopped by today with a hopeful heart, but not opened yet. Sigh. A smiling face in the window and someone industriously cleaning tables. Looking forward to when it’s opened!

  • Glad to see the owner posting here. We are obviously excited about your restaurant!

    I walked by to check out the menu the other day. Then I saw how much you’re charging for the sandwiches. As you probably know, banh mi usually cost around $2.50 – $3. Are you planning on offering them a la carte, at a more reasonable price? One of the things we banh mi lovers love about banh mi is that they’re fast, cheap, and portable! Just a suggestion. (And I’ve never seen pho at more than $7 a bowl…)

    I’ll check you guys out, definitely, and hope you live up to the hype (and the prices).

  • @WDC: It’s fine that you request ingredients not be added due to your allergies. It’s just that asking them to omit cilantro could be like asking them to omit noodles. Cilantro is part of the whole recipe. Sometimes, people boil the cilantro root for extra flavor in the pho.

  • It’s open!! Unbelievable line!!! I was out on the streets waiting for some hot PHO! I never regret because it was that good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!jeroidjfadklhfjsdpljsfkdjs

  • $9 for a large? Jesus that is expensive for pho.

  • Not if you’re living in the district it ain’t!!!!

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