Bun bo hue wont cure cancer, but this extremely nourishing bowl of rice vermicelli and beef broth, similar to pho but not as complex, is a fine palliative for the common cold or crushing hangover. Named for the Vietnamese city of its origin, it's a fiery and slightly sweet brew bobbing with green onions, chives, cilantro, a chewy pigs knuckle, and silky cubes of congealed pigs blood. Unlike pho its also served with raw shredded cabbage, which lends an extra element of texture, along with the more typical side garnishes of fresh chiles, mint leaves, bean sprouts, and limes. At Dong Thanh flexibility is the rule, as owners gamely offer to adjust spice levels or put any number of protein combinations into play, including seafood, chicken, pork skin, and barbecued duck. The array of liquid garnishes on each table-- black vinegar, chile, fish, soy, and rooster sauces, pickled chiles, and garlic oil--ensures that no two bowls are completely alike.
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