But for owner Loan Nguyen, seeing her Vietnamese noodle shop blowing ashy clouds like Uma Thurman chain-smoking in Pulp Fiction wasn't as devastating as it could have been. In fact, Nguyen felt luckier than the other business owners on her block: Five months before the fire, she'd opened a second Pho Tic Tac on Aurora Avenue when she was told her building lease would not be renewed.While there's no shortage of pho restaurants around town, Pho Tic Tac has a flock of loyal customers who migrate north to Aurora from Greenwood whenever they want their noodle fix. It's no surprise why: Bowls of pho come from the kitchen piping hot with heaps of meat piled atop a bed of rice noodles, all swimming in a savory broth that will make you declare true love. And unlike many of Seattle's pho houses, Pho Tic Tac has a vegetarian pho generously packed with carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and celery that could make even the most demanding of herbivores cheer. The pho comes with the standard pho-restaurant fare: Toss in a handful of sprouts or some slices of jalapenos for added texture or flavor, or wolf down a creampuff for a pre-dinner dessert.
Even on a gloomy weekday night, the cheerfully decorated Pho Tic Tac has a noteworthy smattering of customers at its tables. Pumpkin-painted walls, adorned with simple, unimpressive paintings, greet diners as they slurp down their noodles.
While the original Pho Tic Tac might be gone, Nguyen's second location is a flavorful reminder of this restaurant's fireproof resilience and perfected pho.