<!---->In Chicago, we have not yet been blessed with a noodle god like Momofuku's David Chang. We've instead had to settle for noodles from a handful of lower level deities, like Tony Hu at Chinatown's Lao Szechuan or Vanna Gumtrontip at Spoon Thai. Last week, I discovered a new star to add to the mix. I may not actually know the star, as I didn't get the chef's name, but his fried duck noodle soup speaks quite well on his behalf.
Served at a new Argyle St./Little Vietnam storefront named Pho Xua, this bowl of soul is filled with a fresh nest of pliant egg noodles, a deep, rich ducky broth, and a fat, fried, crunchy-skinned duck leg, along with a garden of bok choy, scallions, and little earthy mushroom rafts. Slurping it down banished the seasonal mood swings I'd been indulging after a string of weeks of ubiquitous overcast, slate gray days of drizzle and chafing wind.
A bowl like this makes you wonder if we even need a high end chef to make great noodles. Sure, it would be nice to have the same bowl with a chunk of locally raised Gunthorp farm duck breast from Indiana, but the upside is there's never a shortage of reservations and the noodles are always cheap.
Address: 1020 W Argyle Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (map)
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