I love pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup with a rich, flavorful broth made from a stock that’s been stewed for hours. Add some tender slices of rare steak and a choice of various other “meats” such as tendon and tripe (cow stomach). Finally, throw on top fresh basil and raw bean sprouts, and you’ve got perfection in a bowl for only $6.50. I love it.
I live about a 10 minute walk from Le’s in Harvard Square. I think it’s my top choice for a cheap sit-down restaurant. It’s just as fast and cheap as fast food but has the ambiance and food of a full service restaurant.
Seriously, if you order pho, it comes out in less than 5 minutes. Sometimes in like 3 minutes. It’s awesome. It’s especially great if you’re really hungry!
My friend likes to get the extra large sized noodle soup because it only costs slightly more and look how much bigger it is! My small bowl (on the left) cost $6.50 while his extra large bowl only cost $7.95.
They also have a lot of other yummy dishes. I often like to get the vermicelli (top left photo) if I’m not in the mood for soup. It comes with a tasty fish sauce that you pour all over the noodles. The portion size is generous and again, good prices. The bowl above is only $7.75.
As for appetizers, we like to get the fresh summer rolls. I also like the rice chowder ($5.50), which is sort of like the Vietnamese version of congee. Very flavorful and delicious.
I don’t think I have ever met a dish here that I didn’t like. One fun dish to try is this make-your-own fresh Vietnamese spring rolls dish. They give you all the fixings – cooked meat, vermicelli, vegetables, wrappers, and a big bowl of hot water to soften the wrappers. I learned how to make my own Vietnamese spring rolls at home directly as a result of ordering this dish.
Because Le’s is in Harvard Square, you may notice some subtle differences from a normal Vietnamese restaurant. Most notably, table settings are a little fancier. In a normal Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, the hot sauce comes in a huge squeeze bottle (usually with the picture of the rooster!). Similarly, other the hoisin sauce comes in another unlabeled plastic squeeze bottle. Chopsticks are stored at the table in bulk, sticking out of a container like a bouquet of twigs. Here in Harvard Square, sauces come in small round clear sauce containers with lids and cute little spoons sticking out. Not a squeeze bottle in sight.
All in all, I think you can’t go wrong coming here. There’s almost always seating, it’s in a great location, it’s fast, cheap, delicious, and has pretty good ambiance. Oh, and you can get boba tea or Vietnamese iced coffee. What more could you ask for?
Note: Le’s is virtually identical to Pho Pasteur. They used to be the same restaurant, but split up about a year or so ago.
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