Best Way to Pronounce “Pho”
Any damn way you want
Perhaps the half-smoke was once D.C.’s signature dish. But from my experience, transplants and out-of-town visitors are far more intrigued by our prevalence of pho parlors, which nowadays can be found with ease in our ’burbs—far easier, in fact, than a half-smoke outlet. But as enthusiastically as we’ve embraced the Vietnamese soup, we haven’t come up with a uniform pronunciation of the dish. Just as everybody has a favorite pho vendor and preparation routine—mine: extra basil, extra sprouts, vinegar onion, dollop of plum sauce, quarter dollop of greasy pepper stuff—we have our own way to say “pho.” My guys at the great Pho Sate in Falls Church go with “fah,” which seems to be the way Wikipedia recommends. But they’ll let you get away with “foe” and “fuh” without mockery.