& Broth is Pho-Nomenal

The viral pho brisket on rye sandwich. Photo by Geovanni Esparza/ el Don

Maybe you’ve seen the trending Pho brisket on rye sandwich on your Instagram. The video shows a juicy meaty sandwich, and as a skeptic, I was curious to see if it truly was worth the hype since the restaurant “& Broth” opened up less than two months ago with most of their marketing falling upon the sandwich. 

& Broth is the only pho restaurant in 4th Street Market, surrounded by spots that mainly cater to the Latino community. Other menu items, such as the Saigon and BAC pho, caught my attention due to the hefty amount of meat served in each dish. 

I placed my order for their sandwich which was $15.99, and the Santa Ana Pho at $23.99, which was a bit pricey. Waiting for 15 minutes for my food wasn’t as ideal or fast compared to other pho restaurants, but it was a busy Saturday night downtown, and the kitchen was understaffed. 

The wait for my food went by quickly as my anticipation grew, wondering if the sandwich would live up to the hype after draining my wallet. Right after taking the first bite of the beefy sandwich it completely melted in my mouth, and so did my worries. The thin toasted rye echoed out a loud crunch noise as I held onto it for mercy. The rye tasted like a sweet earthy wheat bread and had very few seeds. As I bit into it, I was able to savor a lightly spread house-made aioli.

The sandwich tastes like pho but in sandwich form. And it quickly became messy because it was greasy and stuffed with large portions of tender cooked prime brisket, fresh herbs and pickled onions. 

Pho brisket on rye being dunked in the beef consommé
Dipping the pho brisket on rye in the beef consommé made it messy but it was definitely worth it. Photo by Geovanni Esparza/ el Don


What made the sandwich worth the trip was dipping it into the fatty and savory hot side of beef consommé, making the whole concoction taste like pho on the go. The southern-styled Vietnam broth is sweet and slightly salty with onions, cilantro and green onions inside. The side of pickled onions and carrots added an acidic taste that easily cut through the meat. It made the photogenic brisket on rye as delicious as everyone on Instagram claims. 

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However, as I was halfway done with my sandwich, I realized I didn’t need the broth because it already tasted so flavorful that dipping the sandwich into the consommé made the rye bread soggy.

Next, I moved on to Santa Ana Pho, the priciest dish on the menu. I had chosen to wait a few minutes before eating because I had seen the steam sizzling from the bowl and they say good things come to those who wait.

Scooping noodles out of a bowl of pho
The Santa Ana pho had a broth that was so hearty and flavorful that adding sauce was not needed. Photo by Geovanni Esparza/ el Don


The broth was hearty and the roasted bone glistened through, to the point where I feared that adding hoisin or Sriracha sauce would disguise the flavor. The restaurant uses a 24-hour bone broth that is used in all of their dishes including the Seafood Pho Bowl. 

My generous serving of pho was packed with seared braised meatballs, tendon, prime brisket, filet mignon and back ribs. The tendon was the best part of the soup because it was soft and easy to chew. The soup was overflowing with silky noodles, and the need for teeth had become nonexistent. I was ashamed at the thought that everyone could hear me inhaling and slurping the noodles above the sound of people chattering and upbeat music. The garnish was bean sprouts, basil, and lime that were fresh as if they were picked from a garden that morning.

A mostly eaten pho brisket on rye sandwich
What remained of the pho brisket on rye. Photo by Geovanni Esparza/ el Don


This Asian-American-inspired restaurant did not disappoint, and I completely understand & Broth’s hype. It’s more than meets the eye because the rest of the menu items are just as good as the viral sandwich. 

By the time I remembered to take a picture of my brisket on rye, it was destroyed. 

Next time, maybe.

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