Soup's Up

Pho & Rice // We are mad about pho — no matter how you pronounce it. (It actually rhymes with duh not doe.) New to Cleveland Heights' Coventry Village neighborhood, Pho & Rice ladles up soul-warming bowls of the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, while mixing in other Asian-inspired dishes in an intimate setting. With only a handful of tables, it resembles a takeout-only joint. But grab a seat and kick things off with the crispy and flaky crab rangoon ($5.95) or the beautifully presented heavenly shrimp ($5.95), wrapped in crunchy egg noodles for a yin and yang of texture. For a standard version of the tasty rice noodle and beef broth soup, opt for the pho dac biet($8.95), which is served with steak and the surprisingly welcome additions of beef tendon and tripe. Add in a dash of Sriracha, a squeeze from a fresh-cut lime, sliced peppers and finish it off with bean sprouts — all of which comes with the pho — for extra heat and flavor. If you aren't feeling adventurous, there are 12 other soups and plenty more rice and specialty dishes, including the Katsudon ($12.95). The dish reminds us of deconstructed fried rice using the grain as the base for a deep-fried pork cutlet layered with scrambled egg, onions and parsley. The comforting bowl, and much of the menu at Pho & Rice, will keep you toasty on cold nights.

Pho & Rice, 1780 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-563-1122

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