Nutrition

People sometimes ask about the Calories and so forth in our pho, so we did some research and calculations and came up with the following:

Regular-size pho with thinly sliced grass-fed steak:

Fat: 8g
Protein: 30g
Sodium: 1300mg
Carbs: 47g

    from noodles: 44g
    from sugars: 2g
    from vegetables: 1g
Total calories: 378
    from fat: 70
    from proteins: 120
    from carbs: 188

***Note: if you’re counting calories/carbs, try ordering the pho with half the noodles! Total Calories: 290

***Ordering a large size? It’s 40% bigger than a regular, so simply multiply everything by 1.4.


And here’s a short essay we wrote about how great our pho is for you!

Real, made-from-scratch homemade broth, long a staple in American home cooking, has become hard to come across in our modern kitchens. Instead, increasingly over the past half century we tend to prefer processed grains, starches, and lean muscle tissue (think steak, London Broil, hamburgers etc) which are deficient in collagen, a basic and very essential building block of our bodies’ health. Collagen can only be found in cartilage and other connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and skin; it is found only in low quantities in lean muscle meats and is impossible to obtain in sufficient quantities from a vegetarian diet. Numerous studies link the resulting deficiencies to such modern ailments as poor immune system response, allergies, cancer susceptibility, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, slow healing, and skin disorders such as eczema and even cellulite.

Ever travel to a foreign country (or just to an ethnic food store) and marvel at the wide array of meats for sale which we Americans rarely consume? Chicken feet, cow tongue, oxtail, tendons, stomach, fish heads–the list goes on–are in fact some of the healthiest and most delicious parts of animals, but they can also be the most challenging to prepare. In our country we usually either sell them overseas or process them into industrial products such as glue and pet food. In Japan, the country with the highest longevity in the world, families cook fish bones and heads into a rich stock, while in the United States we consume breaded filets and discard the rest of the animal.

When we do eat soup, too often we reach for a carton of prepared stock or broth. This broth usually has only scant quantities of actual collagen and its derivative, gelatin–it’s cheaper at the industrial level to replace most of the bones and meats with salt, sugar, MSG, and vegetable-based thickening agents. These fool our taste buds but leave the stock mostly devoid of nutrition.


So how to turn this around? Either make all natural broth at home by simmering bones and other hard-working meats for hours, or simply come eat at Snapdragon! We’ve got you covered.

We make our rich, all-natural broth from scratch, using around one hundred fifty pounds of bones and meats in every batch (that’s more than one pound per serving of broth)! This includes beef femurs (rich in marrow) and knuckles (rich in cartilage), along with tendons, brisket, and hind shanks. It’s easy to see why the broth accounts for well over half the total cost of producing a bowl of our pho. It’s also easy to see why many other pho shops try to cut broth costs by removing most of the meats and instead using a powdered soup base, which is primarily salt, sugar, MSG, and synthesized thickeners. You can distinguish a properly prepared, healthy broth by ordering a container of broth to go and refrigerating it for a day or two. Real broth like ours will gel firmly and can be eaten with a fork or even chopsticks! Other stuff will remain completely liquid.

Our broth is cooked for twelve hours over very low heat, which allows the collagen in the cartilage and other connective tissue to slowly break down. This gives the broth its hearty, gelatinous texture and taste. The tendons, shanks, and brisket are simmered just until they are tender but not overcooked (six to nine hours), then reserved and sliced before adding them back into your finished bowl of pho.


Our broth has a clear, natural flavor and a delicate balance of spices that never gets tiresome; you can eat our pho day after day and enjoy it every single time. In fact, all of our staff eat a bowl of pho every day they work, and some of us come in and order on our days off as well!

And, when you eat our pho, you’re also getting a heaping plate of fresh vegetables to boot. Vietnamese cuisine is, after all, centered around fresh, raw vegetables.

Feel free to ask us any questions you might have, and enjoy your pho!