When my coworker suggested getting pho for lunch, I was all in. He had been recommended a great place by a friend at the gym, so a group of the die hard foodies in the office got in the car to try it out.
The Viet-Tein Market is located in a strip mall, across the street from the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud. When you walk in you are greeted by rows of colorful packaging filled with Asian ingredients, but to the left there is a quaint deli with a few tables and service counter, ready to serve hungry guests.
We went to the counter to place our orders, I went with the Pho with Beef and Meatballs. Then we took our seats and anxiously waited our steaming bowls of broth.
Minutes later there were giant bowls of pho placed in front of us, waiting to be jazzed up with a plate of mix-ins also dropped off at the table. Fresh basil, bean sprouts, jalapenos, and lime wedges. The perfect fresh elements to balance the rich pho broth and meat.
The rules of eating pho state that the first bite always needs to be a ladle of just the broth. Broth can make or break the pho, and let me tell you this one made it, and then topped itself with every bite.
The second it hit your taste buds it made them sing and dance. It was salty, savory, with just the right hit of sweet that cut through and surprised you at the end. IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
I mixed in a few of all the toppings, and gave the bowl a quick drizzle of hoisin sauce (like an asian BBQ). Each bite was a flavor adventure that I intend to go on again and again.
This little market packs a big punch in the flavor category, and I can’t wait to explore the rest of the menu.