For a basic fragrant broth on the Eastside, march to Pho Café, a Soviet bloc boxy Vietnamese restaurant where a stark nameless exterior, known to passersby as the number of the unit in the lot, 2841, serves up Chinese made prosaic porcelain bowls filled with ambrosial consumes.
Seeking a break from fussy world and fussy food, I usually come here alone with a book. I order the freshly prepared steak and tendon noodle broth for an iron hit, pairing it with a sugar beating from a battery charging glass bottled Coca-Cola. A splash of red from the label initiates rebellion, along with the red chairs and the chili sauce neatly positioned on a dragon patterned red plate, to break up the retina sweating neutrals swimming around me.
The food is ordered and then delivered promptly and although always busy, there is never a long wait for a seat: a conveyor belted service with plenty of smiles, adding to the cool proletariat vibe circulating around the room.
‘No frills’ means cheaper prices and casual dining, where you can eat alone, spy, observe or slurp noodles with a lover for a late night Communist style tryst.
So, throw down your dollars (this is a cash only establishment) and toy with your agenda as to when you will next come back, because the food is, well, unpretentiously good.