Superior Pho in Cleveland lives up to its name

vietnamThe first time we attempted to go to Superior Pho (3030 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH), we couldn’t find it! Superior Pho is located in a tiny mall with other Asian restaurants and businesses. However, we didn’t know that, so when we walked into the front entrance of what we thought was the right address, we promptly turned around when we arrived in the lobby of another restaurant. However, stay heartened, just park in the back when you turn off of east 30th street and Superior Pho will be the first restaurant you encounter from the back entrance.

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Superior Pho is a simple place with a few tables and tvs in the corners. We arrived for dinner at about 6 pm, and the place was packed – it closes at 8, so keep that in mind. To start off, we ordered mango bubble tea and Vietnamese coffee, cà phê đá, which was served with an individual drip filter (cà phê phin) – the first time we had ever seen it served this way – though it is apparently the authentic way to do things. Thankfully, the menu at Superior Pho was not as enormous at other Vietnamese restaurants, which made it easier to actually settle on a dish. Along with pho and vermicelli dihes, there was a single banh mi sandwich and a well-curated selection of house specialties including Bò lúc lắc (beef salad) and Bò bía (rice paper rolls with Chinese sausage).SPho3

The main thing to order at Superior Pho is obviously pho, the iconic Vietnamese soup. There were 14 pho permutations you could order by number including: brisket, flank steak, meatball, chicken or even veggie (Large: $8.95 / Small: $7.95). We ordered a classic Beef Pho with flank steak. We always want to try a second dish at the restaurant, so I went for one of my favorite Bún noodle dishes Bún thịt nướng ($9.50) vermicelli with grilled pork. Our entrees were brought out in short order – and we were instantly impressed, everything was fresh and tasty. The pho broth was flavorful and heavily spiced with scallion, basil and cinnamon, and the beef was of very high quality. The large size was more than enough to share, and for only a dollar more than the small, why not? The vermicelli dish was of similar high quality, with the perfect mix of fresh veggies, spice and fish sauce.

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Much like Chicago (and anywhere else) there is a bit of a turf war between restaurants and fans on who has the best Pho in town. And while we haven’t sampled enough places to make a definitive decision about the best pho in Cleveland, we are definitely fans of Superior Pho. This was some of the best pho we ever had, and could certainly hold its own against any we had tried in Chicago. We look forward to enjoying more Superior Pho in the future, especially as a tonic for the impending cold weather.

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