Apparently so, as indicated by the photo wall of fame at Pho Garden in San Francisco where ~200 smiling, full champions showed off their empty bowls of pho.

I love pho. I really love pho. If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life – it would be pho (ideally Mama N’s, but I can make do with just about any recipe).

So when I heard about the Pho Garden Challenge, I figured “Why not?”

That’s right. You have to fill out a waiver to even try the challenge.

The Challenge: Three large bowls of “Pho Garden (Xe Lua)” in one massive bowl – 2 pounds of noodles and 2 pounds of combination beef. Eat it within 60 minutes and the $22 meal is free (a sodium/MSG attack is on the house for all contenders).

When my friend Dr. Diva and I walked into the restaurant we expected some sort of fanfare when we ordered the challenge. I assumed ordering four pounds of pho was not an everyday occurrence. But nothing extraordinary happened besides for the pho lady bringing out waivers. Alas.

So how big were these bowls? BIG.

Dr. Diva and I didn’t take the challenge too seriously. I mean, what normal people would want be able to fit all that in their stomachs?!

The pho wasn’t the best, but thankfully decent.

You can see the edge of the photo wall of fame in the background. Also notice the lack of fanfare.

We gave up after 33 minutes, and our bowls looked mainly untouched besides for the noodles having sucked up most of the broth.

We were given ladles and giant chopsticks. See comparison to regular-sized spoon.

Oh well. I still love pho.

Here are our thoughts on pho in the motherland of Vietnam, including the rise and fall of a vegetarian.

Emmelle

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