I have good news. We are seriously blessed with wonderful Vietnamese food in Wichita.
If you are unfamiliar with Vietnamese cooking, it is easy to like, even for a beginner. It’s fresh and healthy, relying on noodles and rice, small amounts of meat, and lots of vegetables and fresh herbs. Oftentimes raw ingredients will be used to garnish cooked dishes by the diner to her own tastes, so it’s a great cuisine for people who like to play with their food.
The Vietnamese are famous for their soups. Pho is a beefy, broth-based noodle soup that can be ordered with different cuts of thinly sliced beef. Pho is my gold standard for Vietnamese restaurant quality.
Everyone who loves pho has their personal favorite place to eat it and mine is My Tho. It’s a plain little place at Central and Emporia. The décor is cheery, but it doesn’t give you any indication that you will soon be in soup nirvana. This soup, however, will knock your pants off.
The broth for their pho is deep and profound, with notes of cinnamon, star anise and ginger, as well as a really rich beefyness that only comes from bones and long simmering. The rice noodles are perfectly cooked and the proportion of meat to noodles and broth is perfect. Lots of other phos need doctoring up with Siracha or hoisin sauce, but this one does not need it. You can tailor your soup with bean sprouts, hot chilies, basil and lime, adding what you like as you eat.
You will need to be comfortable with your dining companion, because you will use chopsticks and a soup spoon and there is lots of slurping. I feel like I eat like an alligator at My Tho. I can’t talk; I just eat, and if I get some soup on you, I hope that you’re OK with that. All the soups at My Tho are incredible and that’s pretty much all they serve. I respect that.
My Tho is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, so plan your cravings accordingly. It’s really inexpensive, but they only accept cash. I think you are going to love it!