One of St. Louis’ most reputable spots for a beloved Vietnamese staple now has a South City counterpart. Pho Long’s second location debuted quietly on July 29 in the South Grand neighborhood, serving up homestyle Vietnamese cuisine. Its original flagship opened in University City’s Jeffrey Plaza 12 years ago.
The concept comes from co-owners Anh Pham and Thuan Kieu, with kitchen manager Phuong Nguyen. Pho Long’s namesake noodle soups are based on a 70-year-old secret family recipe made famous in Cà Mau, a city located in the southern tip of Vietnam.
The eatery fills the approximately 1,750-square-foot space previously occupied by Garden On Grand, which closed in November. The interior design retains French colonial-inspired aspects of its previous identity including exposed brick archways, with fresh highlights such as red and yellow accents – an homage to the flag of Vietnam. The dining area seats 55, and a patio seats 35.
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From the Indochine-style menu, choose from a detailed selection of appetizers, signature pho beef bowls, chicken soup noodle bowls, vegetarian options, rice platters and pho kho, or dry noodles with fix-ins. Pho Long’s beef-based broth is a high concentration of stock, slowly simmered and reduced overnight for a deep savory flavor.
Try the signature soup in dishes such as Pho Dac Biet with a medley of thinly sliced rare eye-round steak, well-done brisket, tendon and meatballs. The dish is also available with beef oxtail as Pho Con Rong. Another highlight is a newer addition to the Pho Long roster: Pho Suon Rong, which features a 16-ounce tender beef rib. Pho Thit Bo Ba Chi features thick, tender beef belly slices that are seasoned and seared for a smoky finish.
Hu Tieu is another rice-noodle soup option on offer made with a clear, flavorful chicken broth. A vegetarian noodle soup is also available, topped with tofu, vegetarian "meat," broccoli and cauliflower. Rice platter options include Bo Luc Lac with tender steak cubes, onions, spices, lettuce and tomatoes.
In the future, Pho Long will incorporate items such as bánh mì, boba tea and Bun Cha Hanoi – a dish made famous on an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown featuring Barack Obama – to the menu. A liquor selection will also be available in upcoming seasons, featuring options such as Saigon Beer.
Pho Long’s South Grand location is currently open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 3pm and 5 to 9pm, Friday from 10am to 2pm and 5 to 10pm, Saturday from 11am to 10pm, and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.
Pho Long, 2245 S. Grand Blvd., South Grand, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.833.4333, facebook.com/pholong2