Get a taste of Vietnamese comfort food with I Love Pho | Pan-Asian Palate | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Portrait of I Love Pho’s owner, Thu Tran.
Portrait of I Love Pho’s owner, Thu Tran.

Get a taste of Vietnamese comfort food with I Love Pho

A small family owned business that needs your support.

I Love Pho
746 Bedford Hwy, Halifax, NS
(902) 407-6767

menu (PICK UP ONLY - call to order!)
W hen someone thinks of Vietnamese food, one of the first dishes that comes to mind is our classic pho bò, pronounced “fuh”. Thu Tran has been serving up these steamy bowls of comfort since 2014 and for some of you, this may be the first time you have ever heard of this dish—so let me give you the details. Pho bò roughly translates to beef noodle soup in English and for many Vietnamese folks it reminds us of family, home and comfort. Your bowl of pho begins with a base of banh pho noodles—a flat-shaped rice noodle about half of a centimeter in width—topped with thinly sliced raw beef and pieces of tender slow cooked beef. The bone-in broth would have been simmering for close to 24 hours before it is ready to ladle over your noodles and beef, cooking them with each additional ladle. Then you top the noodles with bean sprouts, thai basil, sliced thai chilis, a squeeze of lime, a dash of hoisin sauce and as much sambal as you can handle. It’s now a bowl of flavour perfection.

Have you had pho bò before and are keen to try something new? Give your palate a taste of I Love Pho’s bún bò huế, a spicy beef noodle soup that is flavoured with a slow shimmering beef broth made with lemongrass, fermented shrimp paste and hot chili oil. This broth is red from the hot chili oil and that gives it a steady heat that builds with each spoonful. The broth is ladled over a bowl of cylindrical rice noodles with slices of slow-cooked beef, Vietnamese pork sausage and onions. Our foodie tip is to pair your bún bò huế with a banh mi because you will appreciate how the crusty bread helps soften the heat from your noodles. The bánh mì is a favourite for a reason! It’s crisp and full of texture and flavours with a punch of spice from the sliced thai chilis. You will find your bánh mì stuffed with all the goodies—vietnamese pork paté, two types of sliced vietnamese pork sausages, sliced cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikons, fresh cilantro and as much or as little sliced of the thai chilis as you desire.

If a hot bowl of noodles is not what you’re looking for, that’s perfectly fine. Try out the bún thịt nướng chả giò, a rice vermicelli bowl with grilled pork and a spring roll, for a fresh and non-broth option. This bowl is layered with vermicelli noodles, sliced grilled pork, sliced crispy spring rolls, bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, pickled carrots, shredded lettuce, fried garlic, roasted peanuts and doused in a sweet and spicy fish sauce. This dish is filling and like the noodle bowls, you get a lot of yummy for your money, so bring your appetite.

The gỏi cuốn, fresh spring rolls, are a refreshing appetizer that get your taste buds ready for your main. A rice paper roll stuffed with vermicelli noodles, sliced shrimp, pork slices and a lettuce/bean sprouts/cucumber mix that comes with a peanut flavoured dipping sauce. Do it like we do and mix some (or a lot) of sambal in with the sauce before you get your fresh roll for a dunk (ask for an extra side of spicy sauce with your order!)

These rice noodle dishes (minus the spring roll) are a great option for anyone who has celiac or have gluten intolerances, so have a chat with Thu and she can find you the perfect combination of dishes!

We are both first and second generation Vietnamese immigrants. Not only does supporting this restaurant feel so close to home, but when we eat the food it brings a wave of intergenerational emotion. We spoke with Thu last week and she said “come anytime, it’s always slow” and that broke our hearts and motivated us even more to pursue this initiative. Being away from our family is difficult and in those moments we crave comfort and thanks to the delicious and authentic dishes at I Love Pho, we find just that.

If you have the financial capacity and an appetite, please consider ordering from I Love Pho because we want our comfort food spot to be here after the lockdowns have lifted. To order your take-out meal call them at 902-407-6767 and check them out on Facebook and Instagram for updated menus.

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