We made a trip to Argyle in the North Side of Chicago last Saturday. That was me with my sister and brother-in-law and one of my good friends, Viv.
Viv was looking forward to having her favorite pho. But when we were looking for parking I mentioned to her that my other Chinese friend mentioned one of the restaurants at Argyle to be a real good Vietnamese restaurant and immediately Viv decided we will try it.
The 888 Pho Restaurant is a mom and pop place. It is small but clean. At 11:30 our group were the only people there which made us suspicious. If it was that good how come no one was there but after a few minutes it started to fill up.
Service was slow. While there were many girls busy packing some fresh sliced fruits, there was only one wait person.
My sister and Viv ordered pho, my B-I-L ordered fried noodles and the catfish attracted my attention.
All three got their orders first. Viv was not too happy with her pho, she said where they used to go was way much better. Well it was like I dragged her there. I thought the soup was not that bad and she was just being difficult. My sister shared her big bowl of soup with me as my order was taking so long.
After two other tables were served their pho my catfish finally came. It looked delicious and I was excited to try it.
My first taste of Vietnamese food was a fish dish cooked by a friend in college who married a Vietnamese. They invited me at their house in Philadelphia and to my surprise she has turned into this domestic goddess. She served a red snapper which was both spicy and sweet. And I thought this catfish would be like that.
To my dismay, the fish was so sweet, like it was a candied fish. I am not kidding, that red color is not because of the pepper but it was all sugar.
This time I have to agree with Viv, we will not go back to the same place again.
Now am intrigued, I want to search for this fish recipe and remake it. Am sure if the sugar is toned down this will turn out to be as good as the one my Philly girlfriend served me a long time ago.
Has anyone made this Vietnamese dish? Please do share.