People in Seattle can be SO touchy about what makes good pho. I don’t know what the deal is. Aside from having a good variety of veggies, a flavourful broth, and well-cooked (or at least very firm, fresh) tofu (or meats for people who enjoy such things), I don’t see what all the animosity is about. What I *do* know is that Ba Bar gets more than its fair share of flack for being a “hipster” noodle joint, but I’m here to tell you: I just. Don’t. Give a damn.
I’ve traveled all over Seattle, and there have been other pho purveyors that come close, but no cigar. It’s so good, in fact, that although my boyfriend and I visit Ba Bar* religiously, we’ve never felt the need to try anything else. (Well, except for a Bloody Mary here and there.) I always order the Vegan Pho, which contains two different kinds of tofu, an insanely good veggie broth, two kinds of mushrooms, celery, Chinese chives, and – of course – a bed of thin, perfectly cooked noodles. My beau always jumps at the Pho Ga, which has its own magic goin’ on – chicken, a soft boiled egg and all.
*We always go to the one in the Capitol Hill hood. They also have a South Lake Union location, but I’ve never been there.
A fact that nearly brings me to tears: Ba Bar only serves the Vegan Pho between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. I know – wtf. Also important to note: their menu changes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they serve some dishes until 4 a.m. on Friday & Saturday nights.