Our favorite cheap and delicious Vietnamese spot in Honolulu Chinatown: Pho 97

Though we think the prices recently went up half a notch, you can still get a steaming bowl of pho for about $7. And the trays, shown here, are about $14--which seems like a deal compared to places that charge closer to $20 for the same dish. The trays are enormous and complex, with meat, mint, pickled vegetables, rice noodles, cucumbers, and lettuce to fold into rice paper and dip into fish sauce. It requires my full attention for the span of the meal, but I am preoccupied and happy.

As a side note, this hole in the wall is even appropriate for vegetarians. Besides a tofu tray, the spot also offers vegetarian pho--no chicken or beef stock at all--though sometimes we are warned by the waiter or waitress that the flavor will not be as food as the full-blown meat version. :-)

- sent from my iPhone