Hiding in the Colonnade out on Eisenhower Parkway is Paradise Restaurant. We've become very familiar with Paradise because they are one of three places that will deliver out to where we live. (The other two are pizzerias.) These days we order from Paradise not only because they're the only non-pizza place that delivers to our place, but also because they have the best pho we've tried in town. (Apart from our friend T's, but she doesn't own a restaurant... yet.) We don't claim to be experts on pho by any means, but we really like Paradise's. And they're also really nice folks.
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, and meat (often beef) served in a beef broth. It comes with cilantro, onions, hot peppers, a lime (or lemon), and sriracha (hot sauce) and hoisin sauce, and maybe a few other things depending on the particular pho. Though often pronounced like "foe" by English speakers, it actually sounds more like "fuh". Which, well, leads to a lot of bad puns.
Normally, people eat pho in restaurants, but here in Ann Arbor, you can get a tasty pho kit delivered directly to your door. (Don't live in Ann Arbor? Check out the pho experts to find a pho restaurant near you.)
Your Paradise Pho Kit arrives in two parts: one large soup container full of broth (and the meat balls), and another takeout container with a mound of noodles, other beef cuts, and toppings.
Pho Kit Instructions
1) Call Paradise Restaurant at 930-1988 and order your pho. Note: their pho is in the witness protection program or something; they don't call it pho on the menu, they call it noodle soup. My own preferences are for either the "beef and meat ball noodle soup" or the "deluxe beef noodle soup".
2) Upon delivery, get yourself a large bowl. I use a Chinese casserole bowl.
3) Carefully lift out the noodles and beef and place them in the bowl. Do not be alarmed that the thinly sliced beef looks raw. The broth will cook it. (Yes, even after the car ride to our house. And our house isn't exactly close to the restaurant. But if you're concerned, there's always the microwave. Nuke the broth before you add stuff.)
4) You may top off your pho with the bean sprouts, cilantro, and other goodies. Or you may set them on a side plate and add them slowly to your pho as you eat it.
5) Pour your broth over the beef and noodles. I often have some left-over broth that I enjoy the next day.
6) Add hoisin and sriracha sauce to taste. Taste the broth first, then mix in a little of each and until it tastes "just right" for you. (It's easier to add this stuff than it is to take it out after the fact...)
7) Eat! Chopsticks and a spoon are both useful.
Paradise also offers a fairly standard American Chinese menu, but we mostly order from their Vietnamese menu. We like their "Vietnamese pot stickers," which are balls of rice noodles, pork, carrot, and rice deep fried to a crunchy goodness and served with a dipping sauce. They also serve up the more commonly-known, and much healthier, cold spring rolls. If you don't want pho, we recommend the grilled dishes with lettuce and tomato for meat lovers and the low-carb set, while the caramel fish clay pot is excellent, and the vermicelli noodles with grilled meat dishes are also quite nice.
883 West Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48103