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I’m a HUGE fan of Vietnamese food and when I first moved to Raleigh, I remember immediately searching for the best place around. Pho 9n9 was the first place I tried out 7 years ago and while I enjoyed it, I haven’t been back too often. Its location in the middle of RTP didn’t give me a heckuva lot of excuses to visit. But a recent change at work means I’ll be exploring RTP a lot more so it was finally time for a re-visit!
Pho 9n9 sits in an odd, worn strip plaza on the corner of S. Miami and TW Alexander. This plaza holds a bunch of lunch spots like Cheerz Deli and Spicy Green Gourmet along with Jersey Mike’s. With a mirrored plate glass front, Pho 9n9 doesn’t look like much up front and it’s humble on the inside too. Tiled floor, formica tables and what I call the “Asian eatery chair”! I’ve seen these chairs in what seems like EVERY ethnic Asian restaurant I eat at: black metal back and slightly padded seat, super durable!
Phi 9n9 menu is pretty traditional with the usual banh mi, bun, pho and more. They’ve got a banh mi special with two summer rolls but are already sold out, boo! I go with the grilled pork bun (vermicelli noodle bowl) to keep things simple. This place is usually packed during lunchtime but my late visit means it’s really quiet today. The food comes out pretty quickly and it’s a solid bowl of bun! Lots of vermicelli noodles with well-grilled pork on top, slivers of carrots, bean sprouts, shredded lettuce and some nuoc mam sauce on the side. The pork has a sweet reddish tinge to it, similar to what you might find in Chinese roasted pork, a bit different. And it all works pretty well, especially after you sauce it up!
During a second visit, I get to try out their namesake soup, a combination pho! At $10.95 or so, it’s not cheap and comes in a smaller bowl. The broth is well-laced with anise and spices, very light and delicious. Sprinkles of scallions, onion slices and well cooked noodles make for a great soup. There’s a decent amount of meat and tendon (doh!) but it’s on the short side as well as the noodles. Very nicely done but a smaller pho portion size at Pho 9n9
Service at Pho 9n9 is typical for casual Vietnamese eateries like this: efficient and a bit indifferent, hah! But for lunch it totally works, I just need fast, eh? Overall I enjoyed the two dishes I tried but they were both on the smaller side. Pho 9n9 is still putting out some solid Vietnamese food as it has done for years and I’m looking forward to exploring the menu a bit more. Especially those banh mi for my Battle Banh Mi post! So thanks for keeping things real, Pho 9n9. You may not be my favorite Vietnamese spot in the Triangle but I’m pretty sure you may become my favorite for a work lunch…
2945 S Miami Boulevard #102,
Durham, NC 27703