It may seem like a bit of a trek to go to Dorchester for Vietnamese food, but once you’re there, you’ll appreciate every minute it took. Fields Corner boasts some of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city, including Pho 2000 — famous for its "Bo 7 Mon." That’s seven — yes, seven — courses of beef. If the $29.95 price tag (for two people) seems steep, or you can’t imagine eating seven courses of beef and living to tell about it, worry not. There are plenty of other delicious options on the large menu at this small, pink-walled, faux-plant-filled restaurant.
Pho, of course, means noodle soup, and if that is what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. The bo vien ($4.95), meatball noodle soup, is steaming and delicious. Pho ga — the fragrant winter-blues cure-all shredded-chicken noodle soup with scallions, onions, and cilantro — comes in three sizes ($4.95/$5.75/$6.75).
Pho 2000 also offers a variety of noodle entrées. The delicious bo hoac ga ($6.50) features shredded bits of chicken stir-fried with vegetables including red peppers, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, and snow peas. It’s all served over your choice of soft or crispy yellow noodles or flat rice noodles (we prefer the latter).
If you’re in a bit of a do-it-yourself mood, the banh hoi chao tom ($8.95) is highly recommended. This traditional Vietnamese dish comes deconstructed: you first receive a bowl of steaming hot water with two plates on top, and rice papers sandwiched between the two plates. Then a plate will arrive with steamed vermicelli, grilled shrimp paste wrapped around sugar-cane skewers, lettuce, roasted peanuts, and fresh mint. Dip the rice paper in the hot water to soften it, and then design your own fresh roll (remove the shrimp from the sugar cane). Roll it up and dip it in the spicy nuoc cham sauce, or ask for a side of zingy peanut sauce. The process might be a bit messy, but the end result is worth it.
If making your own doesn’t appeal to you, bun tom nuong ($6.75) offers a bowl of all the same ingredients (although the shrimp is grilled, not in a paste form) served atop a mound of vermicelli. It might not be as much fun, but it’s a little neater.
Pho 2000, located at 198 Adams Street, in Dorchester, is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (617) 436-1908.