This may be the last deal left in San Francisco, with its ever rising rents and restaurant prices.
7 beef courses for less than $25 per person. The only catch is that you will have to help with the cooking.
The sign on the door admittedly says, “No Pho.” Perhaps because people auto associate a Vietnamese restaurant with beef noodle soup.
However, there is a world of other Vietnamese dishes to behold from this formerly French colonized country. This 7 beef course if one of them.
Family run since 1954
The original Anh Hong restaurant opened in 1954 in Vietnam and developed the 7 courses of beef concept called Bo 7 Mon. The restaurant closed due to the war, but the family reincarnated the restaurant in San Francisco in 1986.
They have built other locations in the Bay Area, and they even started their own Asian beer company in Sacramento, known as Asian Brothers Brewing Company.
Was it always $24.50?
In fact, in 2011, the price was just $18.95. While the price has risen, it still remains astonishingly affordable.
For only $24.50 per person, you get 7 different preparations of beef. If you have a party of four, they will kindly let you order for just three people so you can order an additional appetizer for the table.
The Herbs and Sauces
The table is set up with sauces, herbs, and dried rice paper along with a bowl of warm water to wet them. You do not get any traditional rice. Instead, you are meant to use rice paper to wrap the beef and dip in sauce.
The two sauces are a nuoc cham fish sauce dip and a tangy shrimp paste sweetened with pineapple. An additional bowl of chili sauce is provided to add at your discretion. You can spoon them into your own dipping sauce bowl in whatever combination you like.
In addition to an assortment of herbs, you get a plate piled with pickled carrot and daikon, sliced cucumber, and green leaf lettuce to add to your beef roll. Or skip the rice paper and make lettuce wraps.
Get ready to rock’n roll
To do this, dip the rice paper in the bowl of water. Set it on your plate and add the beef, herbs, and any veggies on top. After about a minute, the rice paper will soften enough to where you can roll it. If you wait too long, it will stick to the plate and be difficult to remove.
Fold the two edges inwards and roll like a burrito. Dip in your sauce and eat.
The 7 course run down
Course #1 – Special Beef Salad
Specials means green papaya salad with cooked paper thin slices of beef mixed with fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice.
Course #2 – Bo Nhung Dam
Paper thin slices of beef are splayed on a plate along with a flaming pot of vinegar sauce. Take care to gently swish the beef in the simmering sauce just until pink and barely cooked.
Courses 3 – 6 are served on one plate with rice crackers:
Course #3 – Bo Cha Dum
In this steamed pate, beef is mixed with mixed with nuts, mushrooms, and glass noodles.
Course #4 – Bo Nuong Mo Chai
Grilled beef sausages mixed with traditional Vietnamese spices broiled over charcoal.
Course #5 – Bo Nuong La Lot
Beef Wrapped in Hawaiian (Lot) Leaf
Grilled minced beef rolled in a special aromatic leaf freshly flown from Hawaii.
Course #6 – Bo Nuong Sa
Grilled Beef with Lemongrass
Slices of tenderloin with lemongrass and onions grilled on charcoal.
Course #7 – Chao Bo
Special Beef Rice Soup: a rich flavorful rice soup with chopped beef and onion
It just may be that they save the best for last. Similar to a jook or congee, this homey rice porridge with beef could be a meal in itself.
Corkage is only $8. Bring your own bottle(s) of wine to drink. A zinfandel to go with the grilled meats or a French Beaujolais for the pate and hot pot would pair nicely. Otherwise, they have a small selection of beer and wine to order from.
If you are hankering for steak, why not try this 7 course tour. Instead of sawing through a thick cut of beef, try rolling up the beef instead with rice paper and herbs. You will leave with a full stomach and a still relatively full wallet too.
808 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Open daily for dinner except Tuesday
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