$7 Pho Vs. $68 Pho
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$7 Pho Vs. $68 Pho

– We’re starting this
episode off in Houston because we just finished a pie episode and we were feelin’ a little
bit of a late-night snack. Today on Worth It, we’re gonna be trying three different pho’s at three drastically
different price points to find out which one is the most worth it at it’s price. – And joining us on our adventure today is a very fun guy by
the name of Justin Yu, owner of Theodore Rex. – [Steven] He’s a local from Houston, James Beard Award winner. – [Andrew] Certainly knows his pho. He likes to grab a bowl of
pho after a hard day of work and that’s what we’re gonna do with him, show us how it happens, late-night-style, in Houston. – Wow. It is midnight right now. The pho don’t stop (laughing) when we walk in. – Is that a Kesha lyric
that you just turned into a pho pun? – Yeah. – [Andrew] Geez. (classy jazz) music) – [Kevin] My name is Kevin
Pham, I am the proprietor here at Pho Binh by night. We do authentic pho. 4pm ’til 12am. On Fridays and Saturdays, we’re open until 3AM. – Whoa.
– Whoa, really. – Where did you learn to make pho? – I’ve always wanted to learn it. It was like a secret
held away from me like Mom telling you to close your eyes when there’s a naked woman on TV. (laughing) My grandfather flew from Vietnam because he’s retired there, and I showed up every
day just to learn it. Then my step-dad would come
over and show me his way. Confusing at first, but
then I got the gist of it, developed my own way. The thing about pho is everyone
has their own preference. I like to eat bone marrow
and we never had it in our formula, and one
day, I was just like, “Hey, this is actually pretty good,” and I gave it to a friend. My friend actually was sitting with Alison Cook of the Houston Chronicle. A week later we’re in
the Houston Chronicle for our bone marrow which we never sold, and that kinda boosted us the first year. – I mean we walked in and
the first person we met was your wife? Is that right?
– Yeah. She’s the great, if it weren’t for her, man, this place would not last. Or I wouldn’t last here, by myself. – [Steven] Why is that? – The way we operate has
always been Ma ‘n Pa. – How do you make your broth? – [Kevin] Well it starts
off with the bones, the center piece and the joints. – [Steven] So it really is bone soup? – And brisket. When you look at BBQ pit masters, they’re called pit masters,
what we do is similar to being called a pot master. That flame, it has to be low, you gotta simmer it and
cook the noodles first, strain it out, top off the meats, and then you just go onions. – [Andrew] Pot master
thing, I’ve never heard of pot master–
– I kind of wanna be called that one day, so hey!
(laughing) – [Andrew] Yeah, I think
after this, you’re gonna be pot master for sure. All right, awesome.
– Actually, I did have one last thing, sorry.
– Okay, Steven. – I notice you have this
thing goin’ on here. – That’s actually pickled
lemons to make Chanh Muoi. Pickled lemonade. – We are here with Chef Justin Yu. – Have you had this drink before? – I have. – All right, cheers! (dull clinking) – To a nice bowl of pho. – Oh yeah,
– Whoo! – That is amazing. – This is kind of a
dead-ringer for Gatorade. Is that crazy?
– Yeah, yeah. Then I guess there’s a good amount of salt in Gatorade, too. – So we ordered some pho. Me and Andrew, kind of
like in high school, cheated off your exam? And we got your order. – Got it (laughing). So it’s actually funny,
’cause I’d cheated off of somebody else’s order. (laughing) It’s called nam gau gan. Gau is the fatty brisket, and then gan is the tendon. To me it has all the perfect little bits. The reason why I love it
here is that they cut it almost perfect size every time. So, to me you’d sip the broth first. That’s the ringer for a really great pho. (slurping) This one’s such a clean broth, they’ve obviously taken a lot of time to either blanch the
bones or skim the bones. – It’s like a meal and a
glass of water in one bite, ’cause I’m both getting the savory bits, but I feel refreshed. How’s that broth for you, Andrew? – Uh, it’s (clicks tongue) (laughs) – That right there? The fatty brisket? – That fat hangin’ off. – That’s another level of flavor. – So for you is this
broth perfect right now or are you gonna–
– This broth is absolutely perfect right now.
– You’re not gonna add anything, or–
– I love a good amount of cilantro. I like to have it with the stems, too. It’s really all about that texture. Break it up so it’s bite-sized. Thai basil. Some bean sprouts. I like my bean sprouts raw. – Ahh. – You got the bone marrow, and then add it to the little section I’m about to eat. And it’s just so, because you’ll get this punch of richness. – Maybe because it’s late at night, just made a new friend, but this may be my favorite food right now in the world. I love sushi, I love… what do I love, I love… I don’t want to say asai bowls, because that’s kind of… But I do love asai bowls! Little bit of shame there, but this is really hittin’
the spot for me right now. All right! (laughing) It is so late. (laughing) – Pho Binh hooked us up with
another specialty drink. – Artichoke tea. – Artichoke tea. – Another refreshing thing! – (laughing) Another one! – So we’re leaving Pho Binh By Night. – We’re actually leaving by car. – And so was Justin. He actually is heading
off to his restaurant to clean up, now? – Yeah so our next stop
is actually in Hawa– (light drum beat) Look at that. – [Steven] So we just had
some amazing pho in Houston, learned a lot from Justin, and now we’ve come to Honolulu, and we’re gonna be
tryin’ some delicious pho from a place called The Pig and the Lady. Three types of pho. – We’re eating delicious soup, that’s the soup from which all life comes. – There it is. (kitchy guitar music) – [Andrew] I’m Andrew.
I’m the chef-owner of The Pig and the Lady restaurant. I’m gonna be giving
you guys our pho broth, and we’re gonna do three
different versions. One of them is the pho bac, which is our Northern-style beef pho. We also do seasonal broths, one of them is the duck pho. We also have a vegan option,
which we’re really proud of. – Could you tell us a
little bit about the naming of The Pig and the Lady? – I’m the pig. I’m born
the year of the pig. And the lady is my mother, and also represent my
wife, my best friend. It was just a way to honor them. The beef pho, which
you’ll be having first, it’s pho bac, so it’s a Northern-style, pretty much the heart and
soul of the restaurant. That’s Mom’s recipe. We don’t mess with that. Fresh rice noodles, bun
tham bi rice noodle, they just make everything by hand. It just has a really nice texture. We get our beef from
Makaweli Ranch in Kauai. Typically we use round,
which is the shoulder part. It’s a leaner type of
beef, but it’s very tender. – [Steven] I’ve never
had pho like this before. I’ve always had it where you
get the vegetables on the side, but here it’s all done for you. And this is what I’m talkin’ about! – This drink is called Cobra Commander. – Are we sharing? – Yeah. Ooh.
– Spicy. – Cutest thing I’ve ever seen. (laughing) – Oh. Oh.
– Oh yeah. Cheers. Sliced beef shoulder. Wow! That’s so tender! – Yeah, that’s so good. – Adam, you should try the beef right now while it’s still a little bit raw. Here you go. Wow! Adam just gave the wide-eyed look. Broth time? – [Andrew] Broth boys. (slurping) – I’m into that. Okay. I’m into that.
– Can I just put my straw in here, please? (laughing) – Go for it! – No, I’m not an animal. This is like a baptism for my mouth. – So you’ve been born again? In the name of pho. – My mouth has. (laughing) – One of them is the duck pho. We get Mary’s Ducks. We go ahead and that, we’ll slice up the medium-rare poached duck breast, and we’ll put the bones back in and cook that for a further eight hours. That allows all the duckiness to come out, and then fat renders out from the broth. We’ll save all of that duck
fat to finish the broth. We also put a poached egg yolk, it’s an affordable luxury
that everybody loves. – [Steven] Yolk time! (simultaneous groaning) Oh yes! – [Andrew] I’m gonna duck
my duck with a duck yolk. – There’s this word that
they use in Malaysia, ‘jelak’ and it means when something is so rich, that the more you eat
it, you get sick of it. And this is the anti-jelak. I wanna drink this bowl of pho, and then I wanna eat another bowl tomorrow for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. And just, for the rest of my life. – I just wanna spray this
broth on myself like cologne. – We also have a vegan
pho that we’re featuring. It’s a challenge in itself to
emulate the same experience that you would have
with a rich duck broth, or a rich beef broth. The broth is made with vegetable and kombu to give it depth, enoki
mushroom for meatiness, herb oil from thai basil, add
a little bit more lusciousness to the broth, that was
kind of our pet project, and this is the end result
of that, we’re really stoked. – [Steven] This is the
one I’m most intrigued by. – Look how pretty this is. – [Steven] Yeah, it’s what I
want my garden to look like when I get older. – [Andrew] Yeah, soup garden. – Drizzle. Sizzle. – [Adam] All right. Little bit of tomato. – That’s wonderful. (laughing) – Oh my. It’s extremely delicious,
but I’ve never had a tomato in this setting before. I’m just delighted. Adam’s gone rogue. Chef Andrew said that this would be as satisfying as the other phos, and he’s absolutely right. It’s not so different. I’m suspicious he’s cheating. (laughing) Was that great pho or what? – You were a vegan fiend. And now we’ve got some shaved ice. What flavors did you get on top? – I got a bad assembly, I
kind of got pee-snow colors. Coffee, lilikoi passion and creme brulee? I don’t think I’m doin’ it right. – I got the strawberry,
the guava and the mango, and that’s how you do it. – Look at this. Does it get better than this? Sunset. Ocean breeze. Icy refreshment. – We went from a port… To an island… And now we head to Las– We’re in Vegas! And specifically, we’re in Chinatown. We’re headed to our last location, but before we go there, I have a… Pho Fact! In Seattle they have a challenge for pho, where you can eat an
entire massive bowl of pho in 90 minutes, you win $100. In that bowl of pho is
four liters of broth. – Four liters?! – (laughing) That’s right. – You cannot consume that much liquid in one sitting. That’s too much. I can’t believe how far we’ve
come to make this video. – That’s right, what– – Houston, Honolulu, to Las Vegas? – But you know what I like about that? There’s good pho all over America. People are doin’ big things
all over the country. – Yeah, next time we’ll
just have to actually go to Vietnam. – Done. (funky jazz music) – Hi, my name is Khai Vu and I’m the owner of District One Kitchen and Bar here in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Where does that name come from? – It comes from District
One in Ho Chi Minh City, and that’s where I was born and raised. It have all kind of different food. People go there for
entertainment and dining. Today I will be serving
you guys a lobster pho. We fly our Maine lobster live from Maine. When the lobster get
here, we boil them, first, and then I’ll take the shell and make a concentrated lobster base. We use the head to flash-fry them, and we cook them in the broth so it brings out more lobster flavor. And then I’ll marry
that with the bone broth from the original pho
that we cooked at dinner with the oxtail, the big bones, so you have a really
good broth from the bone and the lobster flavor. – And do we get other
items on the side or? – Usually when people order the lobster, they have two – three people, so sometimes if people want surf ‘n turf, we serve with a side of bone marrow, and we call it the Big Bone Soup. It’s the bone marrow that we use to cook the pho broth with. – [Steven] We’re in Vegas, so. Baby. (clinks) – [Andrew] Look at that. You know when Godzilla
emerges from the sea? – Oh ho, yes! – And he’s coming up to
the city to destroy it, and his head just pops out of the water? (whooshes dramatically) That’s what this is like. – [Steven] All right, broth first. Seafood broth! Cheers. (clinks) (slurping) (tongue clicks) (laughing) – I’m surprised at how much you can taste the lobster in this.
– Whoo. Yeah. – Nothing makes you hungrier
than seeing a whole lobster… dead or alive. That’s the good thing about lobster, you don’t… If you’re gonna pay
this much for a lobster, I don’t want you to sauce
up my lobster too much, just gimme the pure taste of lobster. It’s like a steak. – I’m gonna make the perfect little bowl, get the lobster broth, get a little bit of this bone marrow, a
little bit of noodle, this is only if you zest.
– A little bit? There you go. Just a touch. (groaning) – When a soup makes you go, (contented groaning) after taking a big slurp of it… – Bone meat. – Bone meat is like, if
I was a Bond villain, and you were my henchman? Your name would be Bone Meat. – No. – Okay, if you were a Marvel superhero, your name would be Bone Meat. – Yes! That’s right! – And I would be Broth Boy. – Let’s go fight crime! (laughing) – Born in a ‘broth’el? No. – Noooooo no, no, no. We just had a bowl of
pho with a lobster in it, literally a lobster. Flew in from Maine. – A lobster flew in? Are his arms tired? – So, Andrew, which pho was the most worth it to you? – Are you ready for this? I bet you can’t guess what I’m gonna say. – I know what you’re gonna say. – The Pig and the Lady
was my Worth It winner. – What? No.
– Yeah. It was the best single-slurp
of broth I’ve ever had. – My Worth It Winner
was Pho Binh By Night. – Wow, I did not see that coming. – [Steven] Really? – [Andrew] Yeah.
– And you know what? That night, I dreamed
about the fatty brisket. What’s your Worth It Winner? Pig and the Lady?!
– Adam picks Pig and the Lady! (Whoops) – I knew that was comin’. – [Andrew] It’s like a
cow and a lobster went in a hot tub together. (laughing) And I got to eat it. – [Steven] (laughing)
That coulda went weird. And I’m glad you didn’t. I’m glad it ended there.
– Oh…it went weird. In the best way possible. – Oh yes.


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