Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The World of Vietnamese Noodle Soup "Phở": The Seattle Pho-Natics Meeting #13 at Ballet Resta...

The World of Vietnamese Noodle Soup "Phở": The Seattle Pho-Natics Meeting #13 at Ballet Resta...: "We had another successful Pho-Natics meeting on July 8, 2011 at the Ballet Restaurant, Capital Hill in Seattle! We had about 19 people come..."

The Seattle Pho-Natics Meeting #13 at Ballet Restaurant!

We had another successful Pho-Natics meeting on July 8, 2011 at the Ballet Restaurant, Capital Hill in Seattle!  We had about 19 people come to join the festivities!  The day before I called the restaurant letting them know we would be coming at 6pm and to reserve about 20 seats.  On the phone, they were very enthusiastic about us coming to their restaurant! Well, as promised, when I arrived, there were tables all set up for approx 25 people!  THANK YOU Ballet Restaurant!  One thing I thought was awesome, was the note taped to the cash register reminding the staff of our group arriving with 20 people! ha ha!  So the review:
Interior:  The inside was very clean and decorated quite nicely.  There was plenty of space for anyone with a large group.  I must say though, the bathrooms were fairly dirty which was kind of a bummer and suprise, being the restaurant itself was quite nice!
Service:  When people arrived, the staff was very efficient asking for drink orders.  They were very quick and efficient like many other Pho restaurants I have been to in Seattle.   There was NO lag in wait time for beverages and our food for the group that we had.  Nice work Ballet!
Price:  The price of the pho was about the same as others, maybe alittle less.  They had 2 sizes:  A small and large Pho.  Small was $4.95 and the large was $5.95.  I figured, for a $1 more I would get the large!  They do take cash and credit/debit cards. 
Broth:  The broth was very clear and quite tasty!  When I first got my bowl of pho, I thought "hmm this is pretty clear to be good"  But I was pleasantly suprised!  Some of the other Pho-Natics commented as such:  "I had the chicken pho which was good...the broth was light but had a lot of flavor, though it didnt wow me."- Stephanie and "Good, light broth with, almost floral but not outstanding-solid"- Jay. "The broth was clear, good, nice spicing and hearty. Loved it x4 stars (out of five)"- Jay, "The broth was almost a bit too light for my taste, but good, non-the less"- Lynn
Selection:  Ballet Restaurant does have a full menu of various Vietnamese cuisine.  From Pho to Banh Mi, to rice dishes!  Many items that are sure to please anyone coming into the restaurant.  As mentioned before they do have a fairly nice beer and wine list.  I must say, the pieces of meat in the pho were rather large!  A meal in itself, put aside the noodles and broth!  Maybe alittle to big.  But I suppose its better than some skimpy, non satisfying amount of beef.  Some of the Pho-Natics comments:  "They were generous with the brisket, think slices, almost too much"-Jay and " The brisket was almost too thick for me, but still pretty good over all. In fact, I have never had that thick of meat before in any Pho restaurant I have ever been too, so if thats what people want, then this is the place for them."- Lynn
The spring rolls were fairly small, but good.  I have had better in other restaurants, but still good non the less.  One comment from a Pho-Natic about the spring rolls stated "The spring rolls were not bad, but the shrimp & pork should of been whole pieces, not cut up little bitty bits."-Lynn
I will say that the fried egg rolls were very good!  Many people enjoyed them that night.  Also worth mentioning, if your into vegetarian Pho (Pho Chay) or chicken pho ( Pho Ga), they have both! One Seattle Pho-Natic talked about the Pho Ga being quite good. 
Location:  In Capital Hill, Seattle.  I must say the parking was difficult, but parking in any part of Capital Hill can be challenging.  They do not have their own parking.  Its either street or garage parking.

Score:  Based on what The Seattle Pho-Natics have told me, we would as a whole give Ballet Restaurant a 4 out of 5 stars.  Why not 5??  These reasons:
The meat in the pho was somewhat overwhelming and somewhat too thick,  the bathrooms were dirty, and one of the Pho-Natics mentioned- "pork humbao which I took home and was rock hard on one side and the meat was very fatty and I couldn't finish it as a result."  
I will say on behalf of the staff- Nice work!  They were very friendly, and my water glass never reached 1/2 full!  (in fact I think I had my recommended daily water intake that night) haha.  
I will DEFINATELY be back to Ballet Restaurant!  They really made a party of nearly 20, run smooth, no issues, good food, and very friendly!  THANK YOU Ballet Restaurant!!!
Sean Hoops- The Seattle Pho-Natics President

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just some of the places I have had Pho

These are some of the restaurants I have had Pho at......some far better than others, thats pho-sure!

Phở- Vietnamese Noodle Soup

If you haven't tried it, do!!  This full flavored bowl of broth and noodles will definitely warm you up and fill your tummy!  According to Wikipedia:

Phở (Vietnamese pronunciation: is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà).[1]The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with Vietnamese basillimebean sprouts that are added to the soup by the diner.

I started my journey moving to Seattle, from Denver, Colorado.  When I arrived I noticed all these restaurants with the word "Pho" in them.  I quickly checked them out, as I am a foodie at heart!  To my surprise Pho was a incredible Vietnamese soup that is full of flavor, a rich and enhancing broth, with plenty of condiments to put in your pho!  I was hooked immediately!  This was the beginning!

I work at a Hospital here in Seattle, and many of my coworkers and friends would talk about Pho, and would frequent these restaurants to have his addicting soup!  I figured "Sean why not make a club!" This club would be open to anyone, I would make this on club on Facebook for all to see!  This was a rather exciting experiment to see how many people would be interested.  I deemed the club "The Seattle Pho-Natics".   After a few months, we had over 100 members!!  Once I had a few members, I made some people have titles such as "President"- me, "Vice President"- Tracy, "Treasurer"- Jay and so on.  I thought "well if this club is taking off, we should have club tee shirts!"  So to the drawing board I went.  Myself and Tracy (the clubs vice president) designed the new club shirt.  On the back of our shirts would be our club name and a hand holding chopsticks.  On the front of the shirt, we printed "Di an Pho", meaning "Go get or eat Pho".  The shirts would be black with red writing.  I ordered the shirts (with a great turnout of orders from our members) and was very happy with the design and quality!  We were officially a PHO CLUB!  We would have our first club meeting in Seattle and this is when it all began.......  This blog is to share my experience with the club I created over 2 years ago, the journeys we have had, the restaurants we have been to, the overwhelming success we have had!  I will also post our reviews to the restaurants we have visited on this site, as YELP has told me that we cant do "group" reviews on their website, so therefore they will be put on my blog!
Come share with me, the exciting and tasty world of PHO, and the people such as I, who love this Vietnamese Noodle Soup!