If you’ve had Vietnamese food in Miami in the past 20 years, you’ve probably dined at Miss Saigon. What started in Coral Gables has grown to locations in Pinecrest and Miami Beach.
Founder Gait Nguyen, who is 89 and still cooking in Coral Gables, arrived in Miami in 1975 with her 11 children. Many still work in the business.
Son Huey Nguyen, however, is the first to venture outside Miami-Dade County. Two months ago, he opened What the Pho? in Wilton Manors.
What’s different about this restaurant is that Nguyen puts a bigger focus on pho, the Vietnamese soup made with beef broth, noodles and, most often, thinly sliced meat. As the burrito is to Mexican food, pho is to Vietnamese. It’s consumed in college towns in copious quantities. While some folks crave breakfast or burgers after a night of drinking, one pho spot in downtown Miami stays open until 5 a.m. to catch the after-bar crowd.