Pho Review #2 – Vina Restaurant (Pho Vina)

I recently did a review of Pho Vina in Burien, WA just a little outside of Seattle. Good broth and nice all around restaurant. See how I rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 and also find out how my guests also rate this place in my YouTube review.

WTPHO Shirts and Merchandise Coming Soon!

I’ve been doing some research into getting customized WTPHO shirts and other merchandise made and yesterday I visited a local print shop. I know that some folks out there have been asking for WTPHO shirts and hats. Thank you for your interest and know that WTPHO merch is on its way! 🤙

Here are a few phone photos I snapped during to my visit Gifted Customs print shop in Renton, WA.

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WTPHO Mission: Review Every Pho Restaurant in Seattle

I recent set a goal of reviewing all the pho restaurants in Seattle, including surrounding areas.

I recall reading an article in a local newspaper several years ago that stated Seattle has 45 restaurants with the word pho in the name. That was several years ago and we all know how much growth Seattle has experienced since, so who really knows how many pho exists today. By the way, I’ll also be reviewing restaurants without the word pho in the restaurant name, so imagine this will greatly increase the number pho restaurants.

Last week I reviewed my first pho restaurant, Pho Bac (there’s many locations, I reviewed the one on Rainier Ave). With my reviews, the main phocus will be he broth. I’ll touch on other things such as noodles, service, ambiance, etc., but for the most part my review will strictly be about the broth.

View my phorst pho review video in the link below and let me you know what you think. Please like and subscribe if you enjoyed it and would like to view more pho reviews and all things pho!

Lao New Year Festival Saginaw, Texas 2016

Erythang’s bigger in Texas. Pho real. Phonally saw it with my own eyes – what an experience. For someone who loves phood and photos, the event in Saginaw would be hard to beat.

Glad I made it down to the Lone Star State for some Lao New Year celebrations a couple weeks ago. The festivities at the Lao Buddhist Temple was something else. TONS of people. Food everywhere with more fresh squeezed sugar cane stands than there are Starbucks in Seattle. Ok, that’s exaggerating – but you get the idea. $5 for these Texas size sugar cane treats. Oh man.

Besides sugar cane juice, there was also pho, guay jub, papaya salad, and everything else. Pho real. The crawfish. Man, HUGE crawfish on steroids. The list goes on and on as far as food goes.

Word has it the Tennessee and Louisian, and oh, also Fresno have huge Lao New Year celebrations. Might have to check out these other festivities in upcoming years, but I can’t imagine not returning to Texas again at some point. The Texas hospitality was photastic, by the way. Thank you, Texas, and see you again soon!

Poke to the Max comes to South Seattle’s Hillman City!

I haven’t been this excited about a restaurant coming to South Seattle in a while. Besides pho, sushi is probably my other phovorite food. And this mostly likely is why my email address is phosushi@yahoo.com LOL. Poke and Hawaiian food will always have a special place in my stomach. I mean, heart.

Poke to the Max, the popular food truck that many have seen and visited around town has finally expanded its business – and today we’re happy the restaurant is chillaxin’ on Rainier Ave in South Seattle’s Hillman City, the neighborhood immediately south of Columbia City.

It seems the food scene in South Seattle is becoming more pholicious and interesting by the day. Besides the poke rice bowl, be sure to try the Spam musubi. The addition of fried eggs to this classic appetizer makes it even more photastic. 🙂

Today is the regular opening day of Poke to the Max. See you there soon!

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Owner Max takes a quick photo break

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Poke rice bowl with salad

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Emerald City Comicon 2016

Here are some photos from ECCC 2016. What a fun event. I used a Canon 5Diii with 85 1.2Lii lens on my first visit to this event. When I went back the second day, I didn’t want to lug the monster camera and lens around all day so I used an Olympus EM5ii mirrorless camera with various lenses. I thought about bring lights and other accessories, but ultimately I decided to use natural light because I wanted to keep things simple.

It’s been quite an adventure experimenting with different formats and camera systems. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting Sony for a while, both full frame and apsc, but currently I find that the micro four thirds system best suits my needs. I really like how small the camera bodies are (and how well built the EMii is) as well as the extensive lens selection that this system offers. The weather was awesome this past weekend, and the turnout was outstanding.

Enjoy!

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The Walking Dead

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Spring Space Needle and Olympics

Besides eating photo and checking out food spots, I’ve of course been shooting a lot of photos. This photo of the Space Needle with the Olympic Mountains in the background was taken around sunrise this morning.

Photography has been quite a journey in the years I’ve been shooting. I continue to observe, learn and adapt. I’ve played around with different platforms and while I like full frame best for paid shoots and portraits, I really enjoy shooting micro four thirds for street and casual situations. Besides the smaller cameras and extensive lens selection, micro four thirds offers great image quality comparable to apsc or even full frame in certain instances. This was shot with a Olympus EM5II and 40-150 2.8 Pro lens with 1.4 extender. More on photography later…

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Handheld shot taken from the middle of the street at around 7 am. 

Pho Bo – checking out all of Seattle’s pho restaurants

G for what? Gentrification? No! We shall not utter that controversial word in this neighborhood! G in this instance is simply for ‘good pho’. 🙂 I know, how corny haha.

This place was Skippers seafood restaurant back in the day; back when Columbia City had a True Value hardware store and a shoe repair shop. Then it was Pho Hoa for many years. The owner of Pho Hoa later decided to opt out of the Pho Hoa franchise and changed the name to Pho Rainier. For the last year or so, this prime real estate stand-alone building with ample parking across the street from the PCC and Columbia City Library is home to Pho Bo, one of two pho (Vietnamese) restaurants in Columbia City. While this place has a newish name, it’s menu remains mostly the same as it had been for over decade. At least this is true for their pho, as observed by my taste buds, anyway.

Pho Bo is straight phorward pho. That’s how I would describe it. It’s no frills, no gimmicks pho. You walk in, get greeted by a friendly server, sit down and enjoy some pho. When you look around the restaurant, you’ll notice that you’re surrounded by photastic Christmas. You see, it’s always the pholidays at Pho Bo. Security bars cover the windows to give it that vintage 80’s Columbia City look and feel, as well as to keep the folks at the Angeline apartments out. Haha jokes. 🙂

Pho Bo in Columbia City, which happens to be the neighborhood I live in, is the phorst of many Seattle pho restaurants that I will explore. While I’m conphodent that I’ve tried many if not most of Seattle’s pho restaurants, I’m sure there’s some pho shops out there that I’ve not heard of or tried. New ones pop up all the time in this pho and coffee shop saturated city we live in. Be sure to let me know if there’s a new pho joint that you know of, and I’ll check it out. And oh, should you check out Pho Bo be sure to ask for nuc beo (fatty, oily stock with onions) to compliment your pho. It’ll make the server smile and give you that nod of approval. 😉

Cheers!

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Columbia City Library across the street from Pho Bo
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Wonderpho Christmas decorations galore. Windows with bars to keep folks at the Angeline apartment out LOL.

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One of my phovorite orders is pho tai bo vien – rare steak and meatballs
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Nuc beo. You gotta get this and get pho certipho-ied! 🙂
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