Always on the prowl for authentic ethnic food, I turn to Buford Highway, which is home to a sizable Asian community.

The area is packed with Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and even Mexican restaurants, most of them quite cheap yet totally delicious. Much of Buford Highway is Vietnamese, and you know what that means – pho. One of my favorite dishes of all time, pho has historic roots as street food in Vietnam.

The love put into pho is what differentiates the men from the boys. In Emory terms, the pho from Cox cannot hold a candle to Pho Dai Lo.

Only 15 minutes from Emory, Pho Dai Lo is a nondescript restaurant nestled between other small shops. It is one of those places you go to because someone you trust told you it’s good – and they’re right.

Pho Dai Lo has a typical menu filled with appetizers like spring rolls or other entrees like noodle salads. But come on, we’re here for the pho, so just skip to the pho section of the menu and start deciding what meats you want in it.

They have all the typical meats: from brisket, ribeye and meatballs to the scarier ones like tendon and tripe. The meats are tender, but what really differentiates pho is the broth.

This is where the love comes in. Broth simmered for days with bones, vegetables and a careful blend of foreign spices is what gives each bowl of pho its unique flavor.

Pho Dai Lo has it down, and it is magical every time. Pho may sound intimidating at first, but I encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t already. For those who are already familiar with pho, you can be sure Pho Dai Lo will not disappoint.

As it starts to get cold here in Atlanta, nothing warms me up better than a hot, soothing bowl of pho.

– By Ethan Samuels 

Photo courtesy of Flickr, Joshua Rappenekker