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Pho DC Deli Opens in Chinatown Selling Steamed Buns and Bubble Tea and More

by Prince Of Petworth April 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 26 Comments

Thanks to a reader for sending a heads up that the “Deli” (there was also a sign on the door saying Breeze Bakery Cafe) underneath Pho DC had opened up at 608 H St, NW in Chinatown. It is operated from the folks at Pho DC and will serve steamed buns, bubble tea, smoothies, prepared foods and some other sundries. They were still stocking up when I stopped by yesterday but I’m eager to try the steamed buns. We’ll revisit for a proper judging after they’ve been open for a bit.

  • classic_six

    Can anyone tell me what exactly is bubble tea? I have no idea.

    • Anonymous

      It’s basically a milk tea (think an iced chai tea, but in different flavors) with tapioca beads at the bottom. And it’s delicious.

      • classic_six

        Thanks, Anonymous, for your reply. So, it’s not effervescent? Do you eat the tapioca beads? Are they like little pops of pudding that are encapsulated?

        • They’re slighty firm and chewy, not like pudding at all. Think of the beads in tapioca pudding and imagine them bigger, about the size of a grape. You suck them up through a wide straw and eat them, and they take on some of the flavor of the tea.

        • AG

          No, it’s not bubbly at all. It’s just milk tea (or whatever flavor you choose) with the tapioca balls.

          Tapioca balls are not the pudding as sold in grocery stores. It’s made from a root and when cooked is more like gelatin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapioca). It resembles really chewy jelly when its soaked and you can definitely/should eat it when its in bubble tea!

        • classic_six

          Thank you to caroline and AG – both really helpful and descriptive. Now I have a pretty good sense for bubble tea.

    • jcm

      If you want to try it you can get it delivered from Snap. Also, they deliver banana/nutella crepes. I wish I didn’t know that.

      • classic_six

        Thanks, jcm; but now I wish I didn’t know that, too.

  • lwf

    Stopped in last week for a steamed bun – pretty solid for a cheap snack downtown. Woman behind the counter said they bring them down from NYC.

    • Anonymous

      What is a steamed bun? Are they filled with meat?

      • Meat (usually pork), or sometimes other things like bean paste.

    • Anonymous

      I had a steamed pork bun last week. It was delicious and reasonably priced.

  • Meg

    But how is the Pho?

    • bfinpetworth

      The pho is pretty good there. Good enough that I’ve walked the 8 blocks from my office to this place at lunchtime when I have a pho hankering. It also has a full service bar which is nice for some of us…

    • Anonymous

      The pho is not good. I’ve had pho from instant noodle packs that taste better.

      • Anonymous

        TRUTH

  • 11th

    will check it out. it’s hard to find bánh bao in dc (easier in nova). here’s hoping that’s what they’ve got.

  • LA

    Bubble Tea, Bao and Pho…what else can a girl ask for?!

    I’ll have to try it out.

  • I had the red bean bun a few weeks ago and it was pretty tasty. Very generously sized

  • Elza

    I hope bao become the next trendy food item, after meat balls and fusion tacos get old. I would be at that food truck all. the. time.

  • Anonymous

    So considering how much they charge for pho, the buns are going to be what, like $50 apiece?

    • lwf

      $2

  • TwoDC

    The buns are $2 and decently sized. Surprised when I ordered a steamed pork bun that it was not char siu bao (bbq pork) but steamed pork, sort of like what you’d expect to find in a dumpling. Very tasty but just not what I was expecting. The bubble tea (boba for those West Coasters) was good but I think it was $4.50, a steep price as far as bubble tea goes. The cup was large, however.

  • Anonymous

    the veggie steamed bun and custard steamed buns were the most delicious. the taro bubble tea was slightly sweeter than expected, but still AWESOME. hands down, best bubble tea in chinatown/ metropolitan DC.

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