Kim Long Asian Cuisine
2325 San Pedro NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
There are few things better to eat on a cold rainy day when you’re under the weather than pho. Fortunately, Albuquerque has a number of Vietnamese restaurants serving this wonderful rice noodle soup with beef due to the number of refugees that were flown in here and settled during and after the Vietnam War. (You can see a more detailed account of Vietnamese settlement in Albuquerque here)
Considering that many of the Vietnamese restaurants here close early on Sundays, I had to leave the house quickly at 7:45PM to find a spot still open. Fortunately, Kim Long Asian Cuisine was open until 8:30PM and is located relatively close to Trader Joe’s, where I had to buy groceries later. When I arrived at Kim Long, cold and wet from the rain, they were about to close. Luckily I knew exactly what I wanted, a large bowl of their combination pho, and they were gracious to accommodate me at their counter.
The pho came out fairly quickly with just a small side dish of bean sprouts, thai basil, jalapenos, and cilantro. Sipping the broth it was clear that the beef stock is a little bit stronger than most pho beef stocks (as I could also tell from the dark, rich color), but it was overpoweringly so. It could have used a little more spice (perhaps some more star anise) or slightly more salt to add more complexity to the broth flavor, but all in all it was pretty good. The noodles were cooked just right with a little chew but not too tough. The cuts of meat were well portioned and they even included meatballs which is generally extra in most Vietnamese restaurants. One thing that was a little downer is that I didn’t see much rare meat, which is a little disappointing since I love the flavor and taste of just done beef.
Because it was closing time I didn’t get the chance to explore other menu items like Vietnamese egg rolls, rice cakes, or some of their drinks. However, once I sat down their service was pleasant and they were nothing but hospitable as I finished my bowl of pho.
While this place (or others in Albuquerque) are really comparable to what you’d find in Westminster, it’s pretty good in my book. I definitely need to come back and try more, but this is a promising start.