Sophie Bolich

Phobruary Highlights Near South Side Restaurants

Annual event showcases local restaurants, celebrates Vietnamese culture.

By - Jan 26th, 2023 01:13 pm
Pho. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

February is fast approaching, and with it, the return of Phobruary. Now in its 10th year, the month-long event invites Milwaukeeans to support local restaurants and celebrate Vietnamese culture while indulging in comforting bowls of rice noodle soup.

VIA CDC hosts the annual event, which will expand this year to include an additional neighborhood.

“‘Phobruary’ is an initiative promoting awareness for the local restaurants in Milwaukee’s near south side,” said the community organization in a statement. “It has been a tradition that has taken place in Silver City, and this year VIA is excited to welcome the Layton Park neighborhood!”

Phobruary 2023 will highlight three southside establishments including Thai Bar-B-Que, Vientiane Noodle Shop and AsianRican Foods. The restaurants will offer $7 bowls of pho and additional menu specials throughout the month of February.

Thai Bar-B-Que, a regular participant in the annual event, will offer a $7 regular beef pho bowl for dine-in only on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Throughout the month, Pad Thai, Pad See Ew and Thai BBQ House Salad will be available for a discounted price.

The restaurant, 3417 W. National Ave., offers online ordering for pickup or delivery. Thai Bar-B-Que is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

A quick walk across the street will land you at Vientiane Noodle Shop, another Phobruary participant. Along with its $7 beef and meatball pho bowl — available for dine-in only from Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. — the restaurant will offer specials on Laotian-style fried beef jerky, tum mua salad and bubble tea.

The noodle shop is located at 3422 W. National Ave. and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

AsianRican Foods, a fusion restaurant that opened last summer in the Layton Park neighborhood, is a new addition to the Phobrary lineup. The Asian and Puerto Rican restaurant will offer a $7 beef pho bowl for dine-in Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as specials on Chinese BBQ with arroz chino, egg rolls, tostones and fries; lo mein and empanadas with a variety of fillings.

The restaurant, 3300 W. Lincoln Ave., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Along with the deals, VIA will offer a giveaway, awarding three winners a $25 gift card to their preferred participating restaurant. To enter, visit a Phobruary restaurant, scan the QR code at the table and submit your contact information. At the end of the month, one winner will be randomly selected from each establishment.

Winners will be contacted individually and announced on VIA’s Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Phobruary was first held in 2014. To learn more about participating restaurants, read Urban Milwaukee dining reviewer Cari Taylor-Carlson‘s 2018 feature.

Pho, a signature Vietnamese dish, consists of bone broth spiced with star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander. After hours of simmering, the rich broth is then filled with rice noodles, meat and toppings such as bean sprouts, basil, green onion, cilantro, fresh chilis and lime. The soup is served in a deep bowl alongside a variety of condiments including hoisin, soy sauce, fish sauce, Sriracha and chili paste, for diners to customize the dish to their taste.

The result is a warm, comforting and filling meal that not only tastes incredible, but is healthy, too. The broth itself is full of collagen and protein, while the warming spices are thought to be anti-inflammatory, antiviral and aid in digestion. The toppings, mostly fresh vegetables and herbs, are full of vitamins and fiber.

Finally, a hot meal enjoyed in the company of friends is one of life’s great joys — and there’s nothing healthier than pure happiness.

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