[Photos: Geoff Smith/LookAtLao]
Eric Banh is arguing in favor of the $10 bowls of pho he serves at his restaurants, Ba Bar and Monsoon.
On the Ba Bar blog, he writes:
Nobody ever says it's not delicious. Nobody ever complains about our portion size or the richness of our broth. No, people only ever say one thing when they complain about the pho at Ba Bar or Monsoon: 'Ten dollars?! For a bowl of ph?? I can get this down the street for only five bucks! What a ripoff!'
Banh says it's a compromise when you go get that five-spot pho down the street:
There's no way you can use quality ingredients in a dish that requires this much labor and get away with only charging five dollars unless you are cutting corners somewhere. It's just not possible.
He says Ba Bar sells about 120 bowls of pho a day during winter and goes on to describe his crew's labor-intensive process of making said pho, comparing it to his cheaper competitors. He even makes a case for MSG ("Everything you have heard about monosodium glutamate is wrong.") and ends with in-the-bowl details, such as the best hoisin money can buy (Koon Chun).