One important bit of housekeeping before we start: The Vietnamese dish pho, derived from the French pot-au-feu (literally, pot on the fire), is pronounced “fuh.”
That little bit of culinary background helps explain the depth of flavor from this traditional, slow-cooked beef bone broth noodle soup, laced with star anise, cinnamon and smoked onions, that’s the heart of the family-owned Pho Mi 2Go.
This restaurant’s traditions are everywhere you look, whether you order takeout or eat at one of the seven indoor tables or pair of outdoor spots. There’s a photo of owner Christine Ta — born in Saigon, raised in Houston — next to her sister, dressed in traditional Vietnamese ao dai (tunics and trousers). And near the entrance, a black-and-white one of their mother as girl, a nod to the woman whose recipes she and her husband, Derek Cheung, used to open Pho Mi 2Go two years ago.
There are some touches at Pho Mi from Cheung’s Hong Kong background, too, since the couple met at his parents’ restaurant, Oceania in Sunrise, which they opened after immigrating to South Florida in the 1990s.
Start With These Dishes
Egg rolls are stuffed with a choice of vegetables, pork, chicken or shrimp. Five-spice chicken wings are seasoned with an aromatic blend of ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Summer rolls in soft translucent rice paper wrappers with shrimp, pork, rice noodles and sprigs of cilantro are a lighter starter. And a dozen deep-fried cubes of tofu are served with peanut butter-hoisin dipping sauce.
Steamed pork shu mai dumplings are a nod to Cheung’s background. Five-spice, salt-and-pepper shrimp or squid are another fine choice.
Share These Dishes
Ask for a pair of soup spoons and chopsticks to share a bowl of pho, which simmers eight hours. The soup-like dish comes with rice noodles and choice of beef brisket, beef meatballs and rare round eye — or a combination of all three. Or can stick with grilled chicken, pork, beef, veggies or shrimp.
As tradition demands, pho come with a plate of accouterments to add into your bowl: bean sprouts, leaves of aromatic Asian basil (with a hint of anise), jalapeño slices and lime wedges. Don’t be afraid to add a few drops of hot sauce.
Rice vermicelli salads come with crushed peanuts and a choice of protein and several composed dishes expand the menu.
Try the grilled spicy lemongrass shrimp, beef, pork chop or chicken with a side of white rice. The stir-fried vegetables come with a choice of meats, including a crispy, five-spice fried pork belly.
Banh mi sandwiches are Vietnamese takes on the subs. They are served on baguettes with house-made chicken liver pate infused with cognac, marinated shredded chicken, barbecue pork and slices of pork roll (Vietnamese ham). The banh mi are livened with jalapeño slivers, scallions, cilantro and hot sauce on the side.
Wash it all down with lychee green tea, frothed sweetened coconut milk or a bottle of Tsingtao beer.
Save Room For Dessert
For something truly unique, try the three-bean iced drink. It is a layered drink of sweet red kidney beans on the bottom, mung bean paste in the middle and topped with green squiggles of pandan leaf gel — floral-scented sweetened coconut milk capped with crushed ice.
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Pho Mi 2Go Vietnamese
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Prices: Appetizers $4-$7, rice noodles/rice plates $7-$10, pho $8-$10, banh mi $7-$8, sweets $4
F.Y.I. Beer and wine available