Pho Lily is worth a drive south to Burien
Pho Lily in Burien is definitely worth the drive.
Seattle Times staff reporter
14611 First Ave. S., Burien
Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; no obstacles to access; limited parking; beer available.
Most folks who search for the best pho don't venture too far south. That's too bad. Because that's where some of the best pho houses are located. Like Pho Lily in Burien.
It's sort of a hole in the wall, next to a gas station. Parking is limited. But its pho is pretty good. I think Pho Lily has one of the best beef broths in the area.
The menu: The usual range of spring rolls, pho, vermicelli noodles and rice dishes that you would find in a typical Vietnamese family restaurant. Most items cost $5-$6, none more than $8. But you see the name of this restaurant and you know what to order, right?
What to write home about: Hard to find a beef broth this good or consistent day after day. It's subtle, not oily nor drowning in star anise. All the spices round out the dish nicely, not upstaging the beefy flavor.
It's a perfect remedy for a damp, wintry day. Pho ranges from $4.50 to $6.95, depending on size of bowl and toppings such as meatballs, flank and brisket.
What to skip: The bland shrimp spring rolls ($3.20), overstuffed with vermicelli noodles and little else. The banh xeo ($6.75), a savory Vietnamese-style crepe, was greasy, and stingy with the shrimp and pork.
The setting: Good service, though the English of the staff is spotty. It's a kitschy-looking joint, painted in fluorescent green with Christmas lights, a fake bamboo plant and a giant fan imprinted with a dolphin.
Summing up: Two appetizers, a vermicelli noodle dish, a banh xeo and two large pho bowls totaled $36.41, enough to serve at least three. A good deal. This is a pho house, a very good one, and that's what you should stick with. Rest of the menu is average.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com
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