Unlike me, who always crave experience of the new and unknown, my J is a creature of habit. Once he finds a good thing, he likes to go back for that familiar comfort. Funny thing is my chosen career path, while providing plenty of challenges of its own, also affords a certain stability, while his life as an entrepreneur takes him across the globe to unfamiliar territories on a regular basis. Maybe that's why when he is back home, he sometimes craves simplicity and a sure thing. And that thing often turns out to be Pho Dai Loi 2.
To tell you the truth, we have never visited #1. Once we happened upon #2 and liked it, J never got curious about the original. From what I hear, we are not missing much. At 2, the atmosphere is that of vinyl and florescent lights. But there is a certain ease to it all, like going somewhere you can just be, whatever form you are in. We always order a big bowl of pho for J and a little one for me, and they always come out almost instantly. We split up the sprouts and greens and get to it without any ceremony. The broth never disappoints with its pleasant saltiness and that umami taste, doubtlessly due to some usage of MSG. Don't be surprised. If you have eaten at Asian restaurants, you have almost certainly had the stuff. In China, these magical white crystals are called the "essence of taste." So how can you do without? I don't think the Chinese have turned dumb or dropped dead because of it. Incidentally, higher amounts of glutamate naturally occurs in tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms, which are all valued in the western world for their flavor enhancing abilities. So you draw the connections here.
Anyway, we go to PDL2 to be comforted and it never fails to do just that.
4186 Buford Hwy. Ste G
Atlanta, GA 30345