no soup for you
Iconic pho restaurant suddenly shutters original south Houston locale after 40-year run
One of Houston’s most acclaimed pho restaurants has served its last bowl of soup. Pho Binh Trailerannounced on social media it has permanently closed.
“We have made the difficult decision to not reopen,” the post reads in part. “We have appreciated everyone's business all these years. We are grateful for all your support. Thank you for having been a part of our 40 years of business.”
The announcement comes after a fire in July that damaged the restaurant. Speculation about the restaurant’s future circulated on social media after its property was listed for sale on commercial real estate website LoopNet.
Beginning in the late aughts, a certain type of food-obsessed Houstonian made the drive to the ramshackle property on Beamer Road in search of the city’s best pho. Despite the shabby interior and no-nonsense service, the restaurant earned praise for its flavorful beef and chickens broths, carefully cut meats, and properly al dente rice noodles.
Over the years, food writers have tried to capture what made Pho Binh’s soups stand out. In a recent review, Chelsea Thomas of The Infatuation summarized the restaurant’s appeal.
“The broth is a cosmic coming together: not too fatty, not too thin, not overly aromatic or beefy,” she writes. “There’s a depth of flavor that other places try to duplicate by injecting fat in broth, but here it’s straight Goldilocks: deeply complex and somehow delicate.”
First opened in 1983, the restaurant’s popularity fueled growth as different members of the extended Nguyen family opened Pho Binh locations across the city. Pho Binh by Night, owned by owned by chefs Kevin Pham and Di Nguyen, is widely considered to best capture the flavor of the original.