Lunch is busy and dinner can be worse, so breakfast may be the time to try the bunkerish Pho 79. All they do here is pho -- the slow-cooked broth-and-noodle soup served in shacks and noodle houses all over Vietnam -- with about a dozen different varieties on the menu. Strange as it may seem to get a heaping bowl of rice noodles and beef tripe simmering in aromatic and intensely flavorful at nine in the morning, it can become a habit. And you'll be set for the day, because there's no way you'll leave Pho 79 hungry.
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What's that?" asks the young Vietnamese guy sitting at the table across from mine. He brings his hands together, palms touching, then opens them -- miming the book I have in one hand. I raise it up off the table and show him the cov...