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They only serve Pho and Banh Mi, but simplicity is a beautiful thing at Lucy’s. Their pho comes in a mushroom broth, but meat eaters can always add brisket or chicken. We recommend the latter. The place is tiny, with one long table, perfect for communal slurping. Chicken thigh, smoked brisket and tofu Banh Mi are available.
The broth is as crystalline as consommé, with long leaves of bok choy still on the stalk and bobbing thimbles of green onion. It’s lovely in its pristine state, but even better besmirched by brisket. The meat is rubbed with salt and pepper, smoked for 14 hours over mesquite and apple wood, and carved and seared to order. It lands in the bowl with dark fringes, the bark just shy of scorched, and its juices leach into the pho along with a trace of smoke.
Purists may balk at the notion of a vegetable-based pho that shines among the meaty regulars, but the lone offering of noodle soup at chef-owner Johnny Huynh’s Bushwick kitchen is just that. A savory, yet light broth is simmered for three hours with mushrooms, star anise, charred shallots and ginger, and built with unorthodox fixings like shiitake and bok choy. Beef is available as a topping in thick, hand-carved strips of brisket that’s been smoked for 14 hours over mesquite and applewood. Diners tuck into the piping hot bowls as well as sandwiches (pho banh mi, lemongrass chicken) at the shop’s singular red-painted, wooden communal table.
Believe it or not, one of the city’s best bowls of pho is… vegetarian. That’s right. Instead of the usual meats and marrow, Chef Johnny Huynh uses mushrooms, star anise, cinnamon, charred shallots, and ginger to tease out a broth that’s both hearty and light, brimming with fresh rice noodles, shiitakes, and bok choy. Hardcore carnivores, fear not. You have the option to add tender slabs of smoked beef brisket, which add yet another layer of flavor to this already complex noodle soup.