Entering Pho Lang Thang at the height of the lunch rush was chaotic but I was quickly calmed by the beautiful aroma; the aroma I can still smell as I type this as it lingers on my clothes. If you're looking to avoid crowds and a wait, during the week at least, I suggest going no earlier than 1pm. By the time I left at 1:15 there was no longer a wait for table service and the to-go orders had died down.
It was less than a 10 minute wait for a seat at a long, narrow high-top table with bar stools and I shared my lunch with the strangers who happened to be seated next to me. I heard one customer mention the dramatic increase in business as he waited for his food, apparently he used to be able to come in and sit down right away with no wait. A great thing for Pho Lang Thang and a bad thing only if you have a Bahn Mi habit and zero patience.
I waited about another 15 minutes to place my order but I was understanding as I had no specific place to be and was quite entertained observing the flow of the restaurant. I chose the pork Bahn Mi (pork sandwich) and Pho Bo (rice noodle bowl) in a beef broth with brisket. You can order the Bahn Mi and the Pho Bo with your choice of meat; vegetarian versions of both dishes are also offered. After I placed my order the server repeated back to me "so you want the Bahn Mi and the Pho Bo?" I guess this is technically two entrees but I wanted soup and sandwich, what can I say?
Oh! I almost forgot, I also tried the Vietnamese limeade. It was refreshing and a welcome reminder of summer on this 20 degree day; it didn't have a fake green tint so I know it was home-made.
I boxed up half of each dish to take home and then headed back into the market for a little shopping. White chili spice from Colonel De's, and one hunk each of New York sharp cheddar and Mexican white cheese from Krause's .
No matter the weather, there's never a bad time for Dojo. Today I did half churro half pistachio. The churro tasted amazingly like churro batter and although it was frozen, the cinnamon notes seemed to warm me up. I didn't want this cup to end.