Pho 95 in the Streets at SouthGlenn blooms with veggie-based summer dishes

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The Pho 95 in the Streets at SouthGlenn isn't quite the same as the original on South Federal Boulevard. For one thing, this outpost on South Vine Street has a full bar; for another, the kitchen here has been experimenting with dishes that expand on the pho and bun that have made the original so popular. And two of these summer offerings are vegetarian-friendly.

Plenty of people were lingering over late lunches inside the light-filled space on a recent Sunday; only two or three tables were open, which speaks to the popularity of this restaurant located smack in the swanky Streets at SouthGlenn, where there are plenty of other eateries to choose from. At Pho 95, Highlands Ranch families returning from church mingled with groups speaking in their native Vietnamese.

The banh mi dau hu (pictured above, $3.95) comes wrapped in a blue-and-white-checked piece of paper secured with a thin rubber band, and placed in a basket. When you open up the package, you find a beautifully crusty baguette with shredded carrots, cilantro leaves, sliced cucumber, mayonnaise (so, no, this is not vegan-friendly -- but you can order it without mayo) and grilled tofu glazed with a spicy chili sauce. The bread and fresh ingredients combine for a very tasty sandwich, and the perfectly cooked tofu and chili sauce take it to the next level. It's also a large serving for a relatively small price.

On the summer menu, you'll also find dau hu chien xa ot -- fried tofu sauteed in lemongrass with chili garlic sauce -- served alongside perfectly steamed rice. This is a deceptively simple dish, comprising a mound of white rice, a few tomato and cucumber slices and chili-flecked tofu pieces. But the tofu is amazing. The slight citrusy tang of the lemongrass is set off by the bite of the chili and garlic; paired with a clump of white rice, it's a bite of paradise.

When we asked how long the summer dishes would be available, we were told that the popular items will be added permanently. So consider it your duty to try one of these in the next week or so!

For more information, call 303-797-9535.

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