Best Vietnamese Restaurant - 2012
St. Louis Pho
It's fitting that St. Louis Pho opened inside a former Burger King. For years the fast-food chain told diners to "Have it your way," and this Vietnamese restaurant's namesake dish, the classic beef-noodle soup pho, is meant to be doctored to each diner's delight: Add fresh herbs or bean sprouts or both; squeeze in some fresh lime juice and Sriracha chile sauce; toss in a couple of slices of raw jalapeño. But it's a tribute to St. Louis Pho that you don't have to add anything to the soup. The broth is perfect as-is, deeply savory with warming spices and a hint of sweetness. Really, though, anything you order from the lengthy menu will impress you with its vibrant flavors, from a simple chicken curry or beef with lemongrass to a whole Dungeness crab with tamarind and chiles. On second thought, maybe it's not fitting that St. Louis Pho opened inside an old Burger King. The fast-food jingle most likely to come to mind here is "I'm lovin' it!"