Pho 43 is located on the Avenue Side of Phoenix in a small, off-colored house and parking anywhere makes you want to watch your car constantly.
However, all of my friends have raved about it. My friend Allen has known the owner for 20 years and my friend Jeff from a completely different organization raves about this place. Actually, I saw Jeff there coincidentally! He wasn’t lying when he says he goes there often.
I’ve mentioned before that Pho is a very standard food and good pho tastes similar to each other. It’s like all of the pho places in Northern California was made by one person.
The pho in Pho 43 tasted like home.
The broth was rich with anise and rich with collegen. Maybe the only small difference I’ve noticed was that there was a little more oil on the surface but you can justify this as more flavor. Either way, this place was the most legitimate pho I’ve ever tried in Arizona. It was just so nostalgic I almost cried.
I noticed they cut their meat a bit thicker than other places which I find better because it takes less time to cook and get dry.
They have some other good stuff. We ordered a couple appetizers such as
Standard spring rolls the size of a small burrito. These were alright. Very standard and if I were to nit-pick, they had too much lettuce.
Grape Leaves with Meat
A very unique dish but it was delicious. These remind me of a small little green dish I had back in college. They were grape leaves stuffed with a lemon orzo. Well, these were stuffed with a very savory spiced beef. Very juicy and very meaty, these were paired with an equally appetizing peanut sauce.
What I find weird in this situation is that these guys put a literal salad right next to the meat wraps. I picked at it for a bit but was confused how to eat them.
A strange thing a Filipino friend of ours got. It’s literally an egg and soda. When you stated it, you feel like you’re tasting a mixed sweet raw egg. You get used to it after a while but the drink was so unique I could only handle a sip.
Now for dessert: only available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the shop sells very colorful macarons, but more importantly, they sell these divine macaron icecream sandwiches. These huge monstrosities are sweet, but they are so worth the experience alone.
The small macarons come in many different flavors and we tried pistachio, pandan, strawberry, etc but I found them average. However, that ice cream sandwich version was the best.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have many flavors that day. Bad luck I guess. Either way, their macaron sandwiches come in three flavors: some pandan (green), strawberry (red), and taro (purple)
- My friend says the best flavors are thai tea and pineapple. Unfortunately, they sold out of this when we were there.
- You can ask for a drizzle of syrup or add cereal
Kind of a janky place. It reminds me of a small house I used to visit as a kid. I guess it works out because it gets busy pretty fast. There are Buddhist statues all over the restaurant. The ambiance’s color is a blue which matches the color of the walls. It’s a unique little hut but this is one of the instances where the food is the centerpiece of the experience.
Service was pretty fast. They know what they’re doing here. Our appetizers and noodles were out lightning fast even though it was pretty crowded in there.
Very cheap. They sell soups with the large bowl being $7.50. Everyone knows that in pho restaurants, the #1 is the large bowl with everything. You can get EVEN MORE food by increasing the size of the dish to $10.00s. You shouldn’t spend more than $10.00 on a bowl of soup here but maybe a bit more for the plates.
The macaron ice cream sandwiches are well worth $3.50 dollars. Get them.
Pho 43 has your standard menu of amazing pho broths, some really authentic rice plates and crazy drinks. The most unique thing these guys have are their macarons and especially their macaron ice cream sandwiches.
If you’re looking for cheap, authentic pho, this is your place. This is every Asian foodie’s secret spot for truly amazing Vietnamese food. Remember to get a crazily colorful macaron ice cream sandwich!