SOMETHING’S COOKING: Pho 501
EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Around the country Vietnamese food is booming, but the family who owns Pho 501 in East Hartford has been crafting incredible dishes long before it was trendy.
Pho 501 is located on Main Street.
You can feel the love with every bite of their signature dish, the Vietnamese soup pho.
Pho is pronounced to rhyme with “duh.”
“Obviously the secret ingredient pho is love,” said Dan Nguyen. “It’s our dish that kind of brings us together. That I feel like brings people together.”
Dan says if you want to understand what makes 501 special just look around, you can feel his family everywhere.
His mom, Tuyet, decorated the interior with Vietnamese lanterns.
You can see pictures of his dad Toan, mom, and grandmother Hao on the beautiful mural outside.
You’ll really feel the connection when you take a bite.
“You gotta put your heart into it, if you don’t put your heart into it you’re gonna taste it.”
Heart isn’t the only ingredient. Pho is a rice noodle soup, with meat, typically beef, topped with all kinds of goodies like cilantro and scallions.
The real key is nailing the herbs and spices in the bone broth.
“Before you do anything you have to try the broth,” Dan said. “Cause the broth is always the most important part.”
Dan couldn’t tell Eyewitness News every ingredient in his family’s secret broth recipe, but he admits cinnamon and coriander are involved.
The most important thing to remember when making pho is to treat it like a member of the family.
“This thing is like a baby, it needs that time and that attention,” Dan said.
Regular customers say the TLC really pays off.
“It feels like you’re in this family’s kitchen. You always see the same people as well which is very nice,” said David Walencewicz. “And it’s always great every time.”
Dan loves that customers enjoy his family’s food and culture, one bit at a time.
His parents, who arrived as refugees after the Vietnam War, have created a thriving business, but the Nguyens never forget their roots.
“It was something that my parents always kind of preached to us,” Dan said. “Never forget where you came from. Never forget where we came from.”
For more information on Pho 501 click here.
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