food · slice of life

Pho Happy #SOL21

This afternoon, just before I put Ari down for a nap, I said, “We’re ordering from Rice and Noodles tonight. What would you like?”

His face perked up. Rice and Noodles, which is a Vietnamese restaurant, has been his favorite place to eat — dining in before the pandemic and take-out since the pandemic began — in Lancaster. (We found it a few days before it was featured in a New York Times article about Lancaster’s global cuisine scene.

“I want my usual and I also want my own pho,” he replied.

“Sure, I’ll get you your own pho. This means I won’t have to share mine!” (Ari loves pho and lands up eating a lot of my noodles and broth every time.)

“Good!” he declared.


Marc unpacked the take-out bags from Rice and Noodles this evening only to discover something was missing.

“Did you order Ari’s chicken and rice?”

“I think so,” I replied. “The receipt got emailed to your phone. Would you pull it up?”

I checked the receipt. Sure enough, a kids’ com ga nuong was on the bill. I called Rice and Noodles, explained that it was missing, and asked if Marc could pick it up in 45 minutes. They said yes.

As luck would have it, Ari had an appetizer (i.e., the pho) that was ready to eat. Since he’s four, he got annoyed since he wanted to eat his entree first. We explained the soup would come first, that it wasn’t a big deal, and that they must’ve been extremely busy tonight since this is the first time in almost two years that the restaurant has ever made a mistake.

Begrudgingly, Ari began eating the pho. Before long, he completely forgot about the missing entree since he was slurping the soup and lapping up the noodles like an animal. (Hence the reason he was sitting in his old booster seat, wearing a bib, while eating the pho.)

“Mommy, I think I like this better than what I usually get.”

“That’s great, buddy! But you still have an entree coming.”

“But what if,” more slurping, “I want more pho later?”

“If you finish your chicken and rice, then you can finish the rest of the pho later.”

He smiled, seemingly pleased by that idea.


28 thoughts on “Pho Happy #SOL21

  1. There’s a boy with good taste: pho is delicious! I’m glad you (and Ari) were able to be understanding about the missing dish. I’m sure the restaurant appreciates your support.

  2. I simply love this post! I’d heard about pho many times on my beloved Food Network, but I didn’t try it until I moved to Colorado about two and a half years ago – and like Ari, I am absolutely a fan and now eat it quite regularly.

    I don’t know how you put these pictures together, but it reminds me of impressionism, and the art work is inexplicably endearing.

    I love Ari’s confidence and preferences in dishes, and I’m equally delighted that he has added something new to his culinary selections. May his tastes continue to be broadened as you try many more cuisines together.

    Bon Apetit!

    ~Carla Michelle

    1. Did you notice there was no mention of Isabelle in this slice? While she’s become a bit better in the past year, she’s still quite picky. (I made her a grilled cheese last night. 🤪)

  3. I love that Ari likes pho. I didn’t even know what it was until I was almost 30…and that’s only cuz I went to Vietnam! He sounds like an adventurous eater and one that has a mind of his own…haha.

  4. Your kids have very sophisticated tastes – they are not the peanut butter and jelly, hot dog, and hamburger kids. I think I had a tuna fish sandwich almost every day for lunch. I didn’t experience spaghetti until I was ten and was invited to Bobby’s house for dinner. I didn’t know what pho was until about ten years ago! The food sounds delicious! There seem to be so many eateries in Lancaster that I do not know – many must be fairly new. I loved the photos of Ari enjoying his meal!

    1. You give them too much credit! While Iz has gotten less picky in the past year, she won’t eat R&N. Ari has become more picky since the pandemic began, but he still loves R&N!
      There are amazing restaurants we have to try once I can dine indoors again.

  5. I am on team Ari- I LOVE pho too and I am lucky enough to have traveled to Vietnam to have it there as well. It is always great when kids are adventurous eaters- sure makes life easier!

  6. I’ve actually been to Rice and Noodle a few summers ago when our tennis team was there for a tournament. I was SO HAPPY to have pho before the match. LOVE how your son forgot about the missing meal and delighted in the pho. This slice is making me very hungry.

  7. I think this is called a well developed palate! I did not have my first pho until….well just before the pandemic and the week after my first dumplings and a few weeks after my first rice bowl! Sigh….Ari is way ahead of me!

  8. I love that your 4-year old loves pho! It’s so good. I found it fascinating that this wasn’t considered the main entree though. In my family that’s the meal. Sometimes there are spring rolls or egg rolls involved. =)

  9. I enjoyed this slice, especially the “more slurping” breaking up Ari’s comment. The simple placement of that action made that scene come to life for me. Ironically, I made my first batch of Pho in the Instant Pot this week and it was so delicious. It called for too many ingredients and seemed like a ton of work, but once I tasted it, I knew it was a recipe to return to again….and again….and again, the way Ari returns to his standard order of chicken and rice. Or. Will it be Pho from now on?

      1. I avoided it for a long time and thought I could easily do without since I’m a true blue Crockpot user. I received mine as a gift and am really enjoying learning to use it.

  10. “But what if I want more!”
    So cute. This has made me hungry and I may just have to go warm up some broth and throw in some udon noodles. That’s the closest I can get to pho.

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