The Pho Alternative

Vietnamese Rice Porridge
Vietnamese Rice Porridge

It’s cold as hell. This polar vortex needs to leave. I live in Dallas for a reason and my body can endure muggy, sticky, humid, Dallas heat. The kind that melts your face. Not the cold. Plus, I’m anemic so that doesn’t help either.

Typically, on a rainy or cold day, I go for pho. If you don’t know what pho is, (shame on you) it is a traditional Vietnamese rice noodle in a bowl of steaming delicious beef broth served with different cuts of meat. Look it up. Pho is a staple in the Asian community and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. I guess you could call it the Asian version of chicken noodle soup. Good for the soul.

Occasionally, when I am sick, my mom makes me a rice soup. It’s called Chao in Vietnamese and Congee in Chinese, but it’s basically the same thing, but varies with ingredients depending on the culture. It is a  hot rice porridge, sometimes cooked with with meats, sometimes made bland, and it just warms you up from the inside.

I went to a restaurant called La’Me in Richardson. Service is always terrible, but I go back for the food if that’s any testament to how much I like it. I got the pork assorted porridge and it comes with pieces of bread (sometimes called an Asian donut, but it’s not sweet at all) you can dip and snack on as well. Some people like to garnish it with bean sprouts, just like pho, but I like it the way it is.

You can chose from chicken or seafood porridge or a simpler pork porridge. I usually get the option with all the works. Warning: all the works might be too much for you, unless you are adventurous. In the one pictured, I’m eating cooked rice porridge with cooked pork blood and pork sausage (probably the guts). If you’ve just grimaced, I don’t blame you. It’s definitely a very cultural thing. Some of my fellow Vietnamese friends won’t go near it, but I’ve never had a weak stomach. Believe it or not, it sounds much worse than it tastes. In all honesty, I probably shouldn’t have said anything. Ha!

Be adventurous food lovers! Would I steer you wrong??

Restaurant: La’Me
Address: 9780 Walnut St #140, Dallas TX
Atmosphere: Asian Invasion
Tips: Get the pho, the chao(rice porridge), or Banh Mi special #1
Warning: Service is terrible. They tend to forget things so keep it simple.


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