109 N 12th St., Tampa, FL 33602
Features: Top restaurant
The condos in the Channel District filled up enough in 2012 to merit some infrastructure. It was the year cafes, restaurants and boutiques sprouted up outside the still-beleaguered Channelside Bay Plaza. Buoyed by the success of their downtown Bamboozle, Lynn Pham and partners branched out, bringing their Vietnamese quick-serve to the neighborhood in October. They just got a beer and wine license and Pham is still tinkering with a menu of Asian fusion juices, but the nuts and bolts are in place. Pho is the way to go at this breezy charmer, the cheap one-dish meal crowded with a tangle of soft, pale rice noodles immersed in a rich beef broth made from simmered shinbones. The most basic pho comes with eye-of-round steak, sliced super thin so it cooks in the broth, which you doctor with a plate of crunchy bean sprouts, wedges of lime and rounds of jalapeno along with a swirl of the ubiquitous Sriracha chili sauce or sweet hoisin.
This is part of Times Food Critic Laura Reiley's 25 Top Affordable Restaurants in Tampa Bay.