Last Meals: New Tu Do

Today was my last meal at New Tu Do, a pho restaurant on Bowery between Grand and Hester off the B, D (I’m really selling it here). That has one of the most personal stories of all the restaurants I have relationships with. (weird?)

my last bowl of pho in NYC! well, what's left of it anyway.

Back in Freshmen year one of my best friends from high school came to visit me in NYC. She was on her way to Boston from DC on the bus and had about an hour stop in Chinatown. I met her and we started walking around. We wanted something good, cheap, delicious, and fast. When we saw a little restaurant called “Pho Tu Do” with all its Christmas lights and streamers and flags strewn through the window, we knew this was it.

We were seated by some unassuming shorter older woman and we dove into the menus. As soon as we ordered our food, they brought out our two steaming bowls of pho. Little did we know that our lives were about to change. My friend tells me she still has dreams about the restaurant.

After I returned from Cairo in January, I had to take my ex-boyfriend and get my long awaited fix (he wasn’t my ex at the time). As we reached the stetch of Bowery between Grand and Hester, I couldn’t find it. It had disappeared! I was devasted almost to the point of tears. But then I looked across the street to see an all-too familiar glow of saturated colors and Christmas lights. It had moved to a new location and they changed their name to New Tu Do. It was the exact same menus, same staff, and same wonderful, wonderful food.

I have gone back numerous times, usually alone. It’s one of the few places I don’t mind being by myself because then I can enjoy my food in peace. If you go, this is my biggest piece of advice: don’t be afraid. They list all different types/cuts of meat, such as eye of round, flank, brisket, beef balls, and tripe. What makes the pho great is the broth. I’ve had almost every combination of meats, and I’ve loved them all. And really, there’s no wrong way to eat it.

This last time, as always, I stuffed myself silly and had to waddle out of the restaurant, rubbing my belly all the way to the subway station. If this is an experience you think you’d enjoy, please go. Please please please.


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June 2010
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