Silverthorne dining: Pho Bay (sponsored)
The perfect bowl of pho begins long before it hits the table. Step one is the painstaking process of developing a complex stock that is used as the base for the broth.
To do it properly requires patience and attention. About 200 pounds of beef bones simmer in a giant pot for about 30 hours to create a concentrated stock that is the foundation for this classic Vietnamese comfort dish.
At Pho Bay in Silverthorne, owner Denny Duong says the cooks are going through this process at least three times per week. After 30 hours, the concentrated stock is then used to create the broth, which takes a few more hours longer and is made fresh daily. Pho Bay adds 8 different herbs — including cinnamon, ginger and one of the most classic pho flavors of star anise — as they create massive 80-quart pots of broth. They sell anywhere from 4 to 7 of these big pots per day, and as many as 9 during the busy season.
“The good pho is all about the stock — that’s the most important part to me,” Duong says. “It’s complicated to cook, but once it’s finished it’s very quick to serve.”
Duong says some pho restaurants go with a premade stock, making business faster and easier. He’s not interested in that, though. The longer you cook the beef bones in the stock — extracting all of that delicious marrow and fat — that’s what matters most in terms of the broth’s flavor.
It’s also filtered so the broth becomes silky smooth.
This attention to every detail is what Duong attributes to his restaurants’ success in Summit County — Pho Bay has won first place for best Asian food in the Best of Summit awards in 2017 and 2018, and it won second place in 2016.
“We are known for good food and we’re very proud of that and we want to keep it that way,” he says. “We want quality over quantity. It might cost a little more and it takes longer, but in the long run people come back because they appreciate how we do it.”
In Vietnam, pho is eaten during any time of day. It’s common to see street stalls selling bowls of pho during breakfast hours, but Duong says Vietnamese people also eat it for lunch, dinner or even a midnight snack. At Pho Bay, there are hundreds of ways to order your pho — protein options include beef brisket, rare steak, meatballs, chicken and shrimp. The menu suggests 18 favorite combinations, but diners also can customize their own bowl of pho just how they like it, Duong says.
“It’s not just soup, it’s a meal. With the meat and rice noodles, and all the condiments, pho has all the nourishments,” he says. “It’s very healthy and it’s gluten-free because it’s rice noodles.”
Not just pho
The open kitchen at Pho Bay allows customers to see their food being cooked. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the fried rice — also available with many combinations of proteins.
Every fried rice dish is cooked to order, something Duong says is also worth the extra time it takes. You can watch the cooks work their wok magic as they crack an egg into the rice and stir fry it up with whatever protein you want, and then taste the freshness in every bite.
Noodle bowls are another popular classic Vietnamese staple at Pho Bay , perfect for fueling up on a winter day in Summit County. Try the Bun Dac Biet, a combination of lemongrass chicken, pork, beef, shrimp and egg roll served atop rice noodles and veggies with fish sauce on the side.
Whether you stocking up on energy, replenishing it or just wanting a bowl of hot and comforting food this winter, Pho Bay — which also has a location in Frisco — is a deliciously unique option in Summit County’s dining scene.
270 Summit Place Shopping Center, Silverthorne
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