Eugene Cho

pho shizzle

my first experience with “pho” was about 10 years ago.  what is pho?  it’s the ‘traditional vietnamese beef noodle soup.’  i didn’t enjoy it.  nor did i the 2nd or 3rd time.  then things changed.  it has since grown to be ‘comfort food.’  i attempt to go weekly to a local pho restaurant called than brothers – seattle’s version of the soup nazi known for horrible service, tasty cream puffs, cheap prices, and damn good pho.  if you’ve never had pho, you’re missing out.  in fact, every new person i’ve introduce to pho suddenly becomes a pho-natic.  

did you know? 

Ph was born in Northern Vietnam during the mid-1880s. The dish was heavily influenced by both Chinese and French cooking. Rice noodle and spices were imported from China; the French popularized the eating of red meat. In fact, it is believed that “ph” is derived from “pot au feu” a French soup. Vietnamese cooks blended the Chinese, French and native influences to make a dish that is uniquely Vietnamese.

Refugees fleeing Vietnam in the Spring of 1975 brought with them their hopes and dreams of a better life. They also brought their cultures and cuisine, of which pho has become the most popular among Americans.

according to the most recent tabulation, there are 861 located pho restaurants (and counting) around the united states. the state of washington boasts the third highest pho restaurants only behind california and texas.  i would not be surprised if there are more pho restaurants sprouting up in seattle than there are new churches but that’s a different blog post.  let’s just stick to pho.

i just discovered an entire website dedicated to pho fever.  and on this website, you’ll find such links as pho finder, pho fashion, and even a pho blog.

pho shizzle.

Filed under: seattle

11 Responses

  1. mihee says:

    haha pho-tastic. my parents hate it, but i love it. i fell in love immediately…my first bowl was after a long day of snowboarding…we got into denver, and it hit the spot. the best pho i’ve had out here still doesn’t compare to denver…though a place in boston, and one in philly comes quite close.
    yum!!!

  2. Blake says:

    Yes, pho is good stuff. Can’t remember who introduced me to it but it has definitely been in the last year or so. Love it!😀

  3. Sarah says:

    I had the famous Than Bros last week when we were in town. Definitely comfort food!

  4. Jeff says:

    a friend of mine bought me a “pho king” tshirt, because one of my iv staffers started calling me the pho king (we’re a mature bunch.) it’s pretty sweet, but i’ve thus far refrained from wearing it to church =).

  5. daniel so says:

    i totally relate to your pho-conversion story. i didn’t really like it the first couple of times i tried it. so i stayed away from it for awhile. what won me over was the witness of a pastor, who ate his bowl of pho as if it were his final delicious meal on earth. this normally very circumspect man was sweating, mouth-breathing, and slurping away, so lost in his pho-delirium that he was oblivious of anyone else around him (along with customary table manners). “i must have that feeling” i thought to myself. thus began my love for pho.

  6. Great post title, btw… I saw it in my gmail RSS feeder and totally had to respond. =)

    Me and Peter Hong used to go out for pho all the time, and I miss it. And the thing is, it’s not that there isn’t good pho here in Portland (there probably is) but I feel like I need to do it WITH somebody, and I don’t know anybody in my circle who’s really into it. I might just drag my wife since she likes to try new things, but most of the good pho places probably don’t have great ambiance, which she is really into.

    Either way, though I have to give it a shot somewhere… pho better or pho worse.

  7. e cho says:

    jelani, i understand but if you truly want to understand the way of the pho(rce), you must learn to also be one with the pho.

    dang, this is getting silly now.

    let me just say this to the world wide web: i came, i posted, and i then went to have pho for lunch today. that’s pho real.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I never knew the glories of pho until I came to Quest and my fellow parishioners opened my eyes to the beauty that is the soup. Than brothers was the first place they took me too. My life will never be the same.

  9. […] with a group of 1G families. Usually, we will end the evening by sharing a nice meal together (pho, even!).  At the same time, in my ministry to second-generation (2G) students there is a deep […]

  10. […] eat out too much.  Lugging around three kids limit our options a little.  For us, gourmet food is pho shizzle.  So, when guests and visitors ask us for our recommendations where to eat, we run out after […]

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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