This is some of the very best pho in the region, and everyone in the crowded dining room knows it. Pho Bang is one of the staples of Garland’s Vietnamese community, and it shares a strip mall with three more: Dong Hai, with its Cantonese-influenced menu, banh xeo specialist La Xanh and Dong Que, with excellent noodle bowls. Dueling banh mi shops Quoc Bao and Saigon Deli are on the same corner, making the intersection of Jupiter Road and Walnut Street the epicenter of Vietnamese food in North Texas.
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Pho Bang and I have a sliding doors sort of relationship. My mom tells me I ate there with her as a permed tot, but of course I don't remember that. (The perm part is more of an intentional denial.) When I moved back to Dallas a few...