By Ava Stryker-Robbins
In March 2022, a Vietnamese restaurant opened between 100th and 101st streets on Broadway. While the restaurant offers a range of appetizers and entrees, it was started with the intention of serving one main dish: Pho (pronounced fuh).
When Wan Chen, owner of the restaurant and Upper West Sider, first tasted a recipe from her colleague’s Vietnamese mother, it was love at first swallow. “I was like whoa, this is the best beef broth I have ever had,” she said in an interview with WSR. Chen opened Just Pho You, knowing that focusing on pho would be enough to start a successful restaurant. It is “going to kill it,” she says about the beef bone broth.
The Pho broth is slow-cooked over the course of eight hours, with bone marrow, tendon, short ribs, and other meat, giving it its distinct flavor. The broth is delicious—flavorful, clear, and refreshing, and it does not get overwhelming. Chen says that there is so much meat in the broth that if it were to be chilled, it would surely turn into gelatin.
While the broth is served with scallions, onion, and cilantro on top, it also comes with a small bowl of garnish so that customers can add Thai basil, jalapeño, lime juice, and bean sprouts at their discretion.
The Signature Pho comes with rice noodles, beef eye round, beef brisket, beef tendon, beef flank and beef meatballs. The meats are extremely tasty and are further enhanced by the hoisin and sriracha sauces that are served on the side. These sauces are made each morning at Just Pho You. Both vegetarian and chicken-based pho are also offered.
Chen has further ambitions for the restaurant; “My goal is to really make Just Pho You like McDonald’s…I want every neighborhood [to] experience authentic Vietnamese food.”
Over the past year, Just Pho You has expanded its menu, but its first priorities are customer service and commitment to quality.
Chen concluded by stating that she is committed to ensuring that everyone who goes to Just Pho You feels taken care of. “We want to make you special the minute that you walk into Just Pho You.” She notes that the name “Just Pho You,” is suitable, as the restaurant really is just for you.
The Signature Pho – Grand is $19.
The Dish: JPY Signature Pho – Grand
The Restaurant: Just Pho You (2656 Broadway between West 100th and 101st Streets)
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