By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jan 28, 2022 at 10:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

There's almost nothing better during the chilly winter months than a steaming hot bowl of soup. Fortunately, the time is ripe to get out and warm up with Silver City’s annual event: Phobruary.

In fact, this year Phobruary is more vital than ever, as small local restaurants strive to make it through the winter (and the ongoing pandemic) while taking precautions to keep customers safe.

During the event, which runs Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, guests are encouraged to dine-in, order takeout, purchase gift cards and share positive experiences at the participating restaurants on social media.

Guests should also remember to be kind, exercise patience and tip generously. Face masks are required for all guests, except when seated at tables inside the restaurant.

Restaurants and specials include:

  • Thai Bar-B-Que, 3417 W. National Ave.: Enjoy $5.99 bowls of pho and $1.00 crab rangoon from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the month of February (includes both dine-in and carry-out). Operating hours are: Wednesday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays)
  • Vientiane Noodle Shop, 3422 W. National Ave.: Enjoy $5 bowls of pho anytime during operating hours throughout the month of February (dine-in only, no carry-out). Operating hours are: daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

About pho

The secret of Vietnamese pho – which is pronounced "fuh" or "feu" – lies in its long cooking time, typically a three or four hour steep, which extracts flavor and heft from meaty marrow bones, usually either chicken or beef. The broth is then supplemented with a custom blend of spices like cinnamon, cloves, coriander, star anise and cardamom.

In fact, one of the fun things about pho is that each bowl of steaming broth is pretty distinct. So, if you're not fond of one restaurant's pho, it's worth your while to sample another spots broth to see if you like it better.

But, potentially the best part of eating pho is the ability for diners to customize their bowls with add-ins and garnishes like Thai basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, lime juice and condiments like fish sauce, hoisin and Sriracha.

Weekly giveaways

Throughout the month of February, VIA Community Development Corporation (formerly Layton Boulevard West Neighbors) will be hosting a weekly Phobruay giveaway of $25 gift cards to participating restaurants, with winners announced every Thursday. Learn how to qualify for the giveaway by visiting viacdc.org.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.