Turtle Tower

The broth smells excellent. It smells fresh and more sweet than salty (that is, it smells like broth which I've had which tends to be sweet as opposed to that which I've had to be salty).

Menu Description:
Phở Bò Ðặc Biệt Combination of Rare Beef, Tripe, Well-done Beef Noodle Soup Small 7.75 Large 9.25

After smelling the broth, I proceeded to sip it and I was a bit surprised when I bit down on a little piece of ginger - awesome.

Moving on, the meats were delicious and I loved the thick noodle (twice the size of regular noodle and becoming a popular option at various pho restaurants).

After appreciating the meats and noodle, I returned to the taste of the broth. I liked how it left a fresh, clean feeling on the palate which I associate with using only fresh ingredients and no additives.

Overall, the bowl of pho was great and I would definitely come back for more.

Actually, I also liked the wide space of the restaurant, it's calming yellow walls, and the simple decor - some framed pictures are spread throughout the restaurant.

Oh, I also had some drip coffee which was good but it didn't taste strong. I was also surprised that for the amt of condensed milk in the cup that it was not so sweet. To me, that suggested the pho was actually quite sweet; the coffee finished dripping out after I finished my bowl of pho. In any case, the coffee was good and a nice way to complete my visit.

I should note that this a weekday where I arrived just before the peak lunch hour.

When I finished my meal at noon, all the tables except for a two-seater were full and a line was beginning to form. 12:00PM PT

Originally I was planning to try a sandwich over at Saigon Sandwich but it was hot outside and I didn't want to wait in the sun. As such, despite coming here for the first time several days ago, I decided to dodge the sun from within Turtle Tower.

This time, however, I ordered the pho ap chao nuoc which I wanted to get the last time I came here. When it arrived, I gave it a whiff and mostly smelled the celery. The broth had a bit of an oily taste, but squeezing in the lemon eliminated the oily consistency.

Surprisingly, the noodle's width was the same as that of the pho noodles from last Wednesday - about twice the width of normal pho and about half the width of normal pan-fried noodles. In any case, I liked the smoky pan-fried flavor.

Menu Description:
Phở Bò Áp Chảo Nước Stir-fried Beef with Celery, Carrot, Onion, and Leek Pan-fried Noodle Soup Small 8.00 Large 9.50

It was interesting, because this was the first time I ever had pan-fried noodle soup. In fact, I probably wanted menu item #7 (pho bo xao) instead of menu item #6 (pho bo ap chao nuoc).

For me, I normally think of having pho ap cho (i.e., pan-fried noodle) either served don (crunchy) or mem (soft). To me, pho ap cho mem is most similar to drunken noodles at a Thai restaurant, whereas today's pho ap chao nuoc is a step beyond a bowl of rad na.

Unfortunately, a minor detail that bothered me was the lack of attention to my empty water cup. While it was close to closing time, I still felt entitled to either more than just a single refill of water because the restaurant was not at all busy. Had I known the refills would be infrequent, I would have asked for a bigger glass or a full pitcher of water.

Turtle Tower

Relevant Links:
Turtle Tower Website
Turtle Tower - Tenderloin - San Francisco, CA (Yelp.com)

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