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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One Day’s Wages

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Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

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Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

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  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 2 days ago
  • "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." - a local Iraqi priest || 3 days ago
  • I've been traveling through Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan. Meeting local pastors/leaders, NGOs, and refugees. Join us on IG… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 3 days ago
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