Pot of Pho's vegetarian pho warms the southwest suburbs

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Tucked inside a strip mall in the Ken Caryl region of Littleton, Pot of Pho is something of a suburban secret -- but word is leaking out fast. The space (previously occupied by a Heidi's Brooklyn Deli) is simple but cozy, with comfortable booths and art from the Provide-n-ce Gallery. The place is busy during peak lunch and dinner hours and very quiet in the interim, so if you're looking for a spot where you can linger over a solitary late lunch or have an intimate early dinner with a friend, Pot of Pho is an excellent option.

Owner/manager Thoa Tran is also the cook; she prepares the Northern Vietnamese-style noodle soup from memory, using hand-measured ingredients.

The menu has an entire section devoted to vegetarian dishes, including an appetizer of Vietnamese summer rolls as well as pho chay (the large version, $7.95, is pictured above), made with vegetarian broth, tofu and onions and served with fresh basil, bean sprouts and jalapenos. (It's vegan, too!) There are also bun and com tofu bowls -- fried tofu served with rice noodles or rice, respectively -- plus a handful of Thai curries that can be ordered with tofu, as well.

Pot of Pho offers an array of Vietnamese coffees and teas (including boba tea),along with a handful of desserts (if you're not completely stuffed after a large pho). The turnaround on takeout orders is quick, too; if you have hungry family members at home, you might want to place an order for carry-out pho and curry.

For vegetarians and vegans in the southwest suburbs who don't want to drive up Federal Boulevard for their pho fix, Pot of Pho is a real find.

Pot of Pho is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; call 303-904-1334 or visit www.potofpho.com.

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