Haley Haman · Mar 17, 2021 · 4 min read
The main attraction at this Vietnamese hole in the wall is, as the name would suggest, special bowls of steaming pho. Special Pho in St. Petersburg has incredible pho creations that you must try very soon if you haven't already. Pho is a Vietnamese beef noodle soup that is the perfect elixir to warm the soul and let your tastebuds soar with flavors. Through every slurp of their bright and springy pho, I just kept thinking to myself how happy I was to discover such a hidden gem in St. Pete.
From the high quality of the base broth, tender and flavorful meats, housemade fresh noodles, and extra flavorings, Special Pho has elevated my expectations for pho for the rest of my life.
In addition to specialty pho bowls, their menu also offers decadent appetizers, noodle and small soups, Build Your Own Bowl, rice dishes, desserts and traditional drinks. This place is truly un-pho-gettable!
I went with a friend and we were mesmerized at the size of the bowls and the quality of the broth. We were also so excited as both of us left with an entire container to enjoy later.
Let the colors and ingredients from the photo speak for themselves. The longer you look, the more yummy goodness you'll see. All of the soups and pho bowls come with onion and scallion, unless you request it without. The pho bowls vary from beef, filet mignon, chicken and even a vegan option. You can also build your own bowl, which I can't wait to try sometime. Plus, they make the noodles fresh, in house. You have the choice between pho small noodles, fresh pho noodles, egg noodles, ramen, glass noodles or vermicelli.
I ordered the Special Pho Filet Mignon with filet mignon, beef brisket, meatballs and tendons, with the fresh pho noodles. This steaming bowl of pho was out of this world. The broth alone was very flavorful, not to mention how tender all of the meat was, and how soft and delicious the fresh pho noodles were. Meat lovers, this one’s for you.
On the complete other hand, the Vegan Pho is a terrific option if you're in the mood for fresh and tasty veggies.
The Vegan Pho is a seemingly simple bowl of all sorts of veggies, mushrooms, broccoli, tofu all soaked within the vegan broth. My friend Hannah raved about this and also couldn't believe how flavorful each slurp and bite was. She also got the fresh pho noodles and loved them.
Now, for my absolute favorite menu item: the Wonton Soup with egg noodles and bbq pork I ordered it to go to fully enjoy slurping it in the comfort of my own home and I did exactly that.
Here are all of the ingredients before adding them all together.
I added everything to a bowl and here you can see all of the ingredients take up the majority of this large bowl.
The final product.
The Wonton Soup was deeply satisfying. It's light, hearty, and comforting all at the same time. The broth is something I will soon crave every time I'm in the mood for Vietnamese tang and the wontons were soft on the outside and bursting with flavors on the inside. This is now my go-to order.
The Chicken Wings were calling our name for an appetizer and wow were they good. They came out steaming hot and each bite easily fell off the bones. The fish sauce glaze was light and simple.
Next, the Springs Rolls in which I absolutely recommend to everyone going here.
The Vegan Spring Rolls provided us with light bites of deliciousness. The fresh crunch of veggies paired with the soft tofu was enough to make us happy, but the peanut sauce was really the icing on the cake. What's a spring roll without peanut sauce anyway? This one is creamy, sweet, savory and overall amazing.
The traditional Spring Rolls, Goi Cuon, were my favorite of the two. The shrimp and pork added a ton of flavor and was an overall tastier bite. Again, the peanut sauce is literally dreamy. These are an absolute must.
The Egg Rolls are notable, with bits of pork and veggies. Served warm and giving a perfectly fried and crunchy exterior. The house dipping sauce was sweet and tangy, delicious all around.
In addition to pho, soups and appetizers, they offer rice dishes, desserts and drinks. I have my eye on a fruit smoothie with boba for my next visit. Special Pho is truly something special in the area. I felt as if I just discovered a hidden gem with the amount of satisfaction each dish and bite brought to the table. I look forward to going back for more.
Truly authentic Vietnamese cuisine from locally sourced ingredients made fresh daily.