Translation? A Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup. Bún bò Huế (bun-bo-hwe) is definitely one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. I consider it better than Pho, because Bún bò Huế has so much flavor, it’s not boring and I love how spicy it is. I haven’t tasted a bowl of Bún bò Huế better than my mother’s, and of course, mother’s homemade food will always be the best in my heart. Today’s lesson, never talk down on your own mother’s cooking. Ahem, my mother is incredibly busy and she doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands to make me Bún bò Huế every time I crave it. To make it easier on her, I’d just go out and buy myself some Bún bò Huế. I’ve scoped out every noodle shop in the Oklahoma City metro and I use to think that Pho Cuong had decent Bún bò Huế, so I settled with it for a year or so, but over the past few years, I started to notice that their Bún bò Huế went downhill, the taste, the texture, and the presentation of it; that was when I decided to stop going to Pho Cuong. Back around this time, my craving for Bún bò Huế wasn’t all that crazy, so I could manage, but I was still searching for that perfect Bún bò Huế, besides my mother’s.
The summer of 2012, a group of us went down to Padre Island a week before school started. On our way back home, we decided to stop in Houston, Texas. It was really late, if I can recall, it was probably around 1 in the morning and we were starving like bears. I don’t know how (I was sleeping during the drive), but we found a place called Bun Bo Hue Duc Chuong. It was open until 3 in the morning. To my fascination, they ONLY served one entrée and you guessed it, Bún bò Huế! Of course, they sold drinks and smoothies (bubble [boba] tea, to be specific). When we walked in, the entire place was packed… at 1 in the morning. We were seated promptly and shortly after, a man asked for our drink orders and then he asked, “Would you like a small bowl or a large bowl?” …Now, let me just say one thing, ordering a large bowl was a big mistake. We assumed that that was what everyone in the restaurant ordered, but it turns out they all had small bowls. You can definitely order a large Bún bò Huế if you could finish it, but as for my friends and I, we were completely annihilated by their large bowls of Bún bò Huế. Well, that’s what we get for being total newbies. Anyways, considering that the man only asked us for bowl sizes, THEY DO NOT HAVE MENUS. Their service was the quickest service I’ve ever encountered in my life. Our Bún bò Huế came out in less than 5 minutes. The atmosphere was very comfortable, but that’s mainly because I could understand Vietnamese and communicate with them. I honestly haven’t been around the world to try every Bún bò Huế, but their Bún bò Huế was the BEST Bún bò Huế I’ve ever tasted. It was spicy enough for me and the sourness added flavor; they had the perfect amount of meat in the soup. It was just delicious. Too bad I couldn’t finish it. The prices were very inexpensive, the large bowl was $10 and the small bowl was $7. I thought this restaurant took a huge risk, they placed all of their confidence on one entrée and it definitely worked, all they had to do was continue focusing on improving on one entrée. But hands down, best Bún bò Huế of all time! Check them out on Yelp.com, guys!
Ever since I got back from Padre Island and Houston, I had Bún bò Huế withdrawals. I knew that none of the noodle shops in Oklahoma City, Moore, or Midwest City would satisfy me. My mother’s Bún bò Huế did satisfy me, but the craving would come back, and like I said before, she doesn’t have that much time on her hands to always satisfy my annoying cravings. One day, my boyfriend and I were down at the outlet mall to go shopping. We were kind of close to the Mustang and Yukon area. “I’m craving Pho, let’s go to Pho Hieu,” my boyfriend said. And you know what? That was the first time I’ve ever heard of this restaurant. So, I agreed to going, but I wasn’t going to eat. Pho Hieu is located in Yukon, not Mustang. I assumed they only served Pho, but I was wrong. They also served Bún bò Huế and I decided to try it out. Sure enough, it satisfied me. It really satisfied me and I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t as spicy, but they did give me a side of extra spicy chili oil, which made it perfect. The broth was so clear compared to Pho Cuong’s Bún bò Huế. I could definitely taste all of the flavors in this noodle soup. I was very content that I gave this place a chance, all thanks to my boyfriend! The restaurant was small, but they had a decent amount of seating. The décor was a typical looking pho restaurant, but very clean compared to the other Pho restaurants. The service was good. Our server always had a smile on her face and she was well-mannered. The price was also inexpensive here, we paid $14 for two bowls, so about $7 each. I think Pho Hieu has the best Bún bò Huế in Oklahoma. This concludes my love for Bún bò Huế. Keep eating and smiling, guys!