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Best Vietnamese Restaurant Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2004 - Pho Nam Do Vietnamese Noodle House

Our mission ultimately led to this unassuming little eatery in a nondescript strip mall in Lauderdale Lakes. Its references were good, and it lived up to the reputation. There's not much in the way of atmosphere; there are only a dozen or so tables, and the service is friendly. But you'll immediately notice that a sizable segment of the clientele is Asian, always a good sign, and that most are having a noodle soup as part of their meal, another good sign for a place that bills itself as a "noodle house." Our party of five had so much trouble deciding among the menu's 40 or so offerings (not including beverages) that we ended up sharing all of the first seven items (appetizers and house specialties) and then another three (noodle soups and a grilled shrimp rice plate). The emphasis here is on fairly basic Vietnamese food, although it's easy to pick up on the other cuisines that have influenced the country's turbulent culture, including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, and French. There's a bewildering array of beef noodle soups with various combinations of rare beef, well-done beef, beef tendon, beef tripe, and beef balls. A less intimidating handful of soups features noodles combined with beef, seafood, chicken, pork, and other ingredients. Condiments include the classic Vietnamese nuoc mam dipping sauce (based on fermented fish), a Thai-style peanut sauce, a chili sauce, and a hot pepper paste, all of which work well with just about any dish. There's no bar. Our grand total for ten dishes: $64 and change.

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