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Favorite things often take a beating, as anyone who's ever had to wash a kid's blanket or teddy bear can attest. Favorite jeans tear, favorite

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100 Favorite Dishes: Flank Steak Pho at Cafe Pho

cafepho.JPG
Favorite things often take a beating, as anyone who's ever had to wash a kid's blanket or teddy bear can attest. Favorite jeans tear, favorite books lose pages and favorite restaurants - the dependable restaurants that get visited again and again, no matter the Yelp rating - are easily forgotten in serious culinary conversations.

When I first drafted my list of favorite dishes, I didn't think to include flank steak pho from Cafe Pho. It's not the best pho I've tasted in Seattle, and it's far from the most consistent: The broth can be too watery, and occasionally it's overly sweet.

I've become an expert on Cafe Pho's consistency because I order its pho once a week. Sometimes twice. Months ago, I forged the bad habit of eating Cafe Pho take-out while writing my reviews, and I'm unwilling to risk dealing with the writer's block which would surely come crashing down from the sky if I ever stopped.

So while I may whine about the strong cinnamon flavor of Cafe Pho's pho, it would surely be treasonous to deny favorite dish status to anything I eat more than 50 times a year. And, to be fair, the pho doesn't suffer from any serious flaws: It's not greasy or bogged down with MSG. The noodles are decent, and the vegetables are fresh. It's not exactly full-flavored, but a housemade, half-flavored pho is far better than anything I can make in the microwave - especially when it's generously garnished with hoisin sauce and Sriracha.

I know, I know. I could walk a bit further and find a better lunch. But Cafe Pho is at exactly the right distance from my office for me to gather my thoughts before starting to write, and my order's always served up quickly, so I don't lose any precious on-deadline time. Who wouldn't favorite that?

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