7010 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Don’t get me wrong, I love beef pho, but there’s something more subtle and light about chicken pho that makes me crave it a lot. Unfortunately, not a lot of places have good chicken pho. Sometimes it’s not that great because they just throw chicken into a pot of the beef pho broth with noodles and call it a day (instead of making their own chicken pho broth). Other times they don’t marinate the chicken well or use slices of chicken that would be more apt in a chicken stir fry. That’s not to say that these versions of chicken pho are bad (often times these versions are still delicious because if you can do beef pho right – it’s still good), but they won’t rise to the level of my most beloved pho shop – Pho Nyugen Hue which is well beloved for it’s beef and chicken pho.
Since Que Huong has a reputation as one of the best of Albuquerque’s many Vietnamese restaurants, I had to see how good their chicken pho is, especially knowing their beef pho is pretty good. Once I entered the restaurant I sat down and got to ordering, one large bowl of chicken pho and one order of egg rolls.
The egg rolls came out first, as is usual. They were nice and crunchy with a good filling of meat, shredded carrots, and cooked cellophane noodles. The sizes were good too, not too big as I have seen them at StreetFood Asia but not too small like some other Vietnamese restaurants around town. Of course, as usual I am disappointed by the lack of accompaniment of more lettuce, fresh herbs, and pickled daikon to go with my egg rolls which I’m used to in California and Colorado. However, this is typical of nearly all Albuquerque Vietnamese restaurants and I certainly can’t fault Que Huong on what is a relatively small thing to have a disagreement over.
The pho came out next in a bowl that is even large by my standards. There was plenty of chicken and plenty of noodles, so I dug in right away. The noodles were done fantastically, with a good texture that was chewy yet soft. The broth was good as well, though it seemed like they did use some beef broth in it. Again, this isn’t a deal breaker but in other places this could overpower the more light and subtle flavors of chicken. For the chicken itself, it was shredded white meat, which was good if a little overcooked and too chewy.
The service, as always, was warm and hospitable. Clearly I am started to frequent the place a bit as it’s now become the fourth Asian restaurant to know me as a regular. However, the servers were very pleasant, refilling my glass of water fairly regularly and allowing me to switch the TV station, if only to watch my hometown Chargers lose.
All in all Que Huong is a great restaurant with good food. Their beef pho is definitely better than their chicken pho, but their variation of chicken pho isn’t bad. Next time I will try their version of Vietnamese style wonton noodle soup and see how that stacks up.