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Best Vietnamese Soup

Nam Son Restaurant
430 N. Park Ave.

STAFF PICK: Jewish grandmother, meet our new Vietnamese grandmother. When you need a bowl of sustenance, to chase away the blues or the flus, get yourself a bowl of Pho at Nam Son. Occupying a tiny, characterless storefront on Park Avenue, just south of Sixth Street, this place has been home to a slew of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants over the years. But the relatively new Nam Son lays out a healthy, tasty fare. When you wander in for the first time, you'll see many a teaching assistant, grad student and weather bureau type hunched over huge bowls of steaming pureness. The soup is a delicately spiced, light broth laden with tender rice noodles and green onions. You can order it with beef or chicken (we recommend the latter, as the former is a bit of a mystery). On the side is a plate of bean sprouts, fresh basil, sliced chile peppers and lime. Add your condiments and stir. The ingredients combine to make a perfect complement of flavors. Breathe in the steam, suck down the noodles and you're bound to feel that tissue regeneration and revival without religion just might be possible. If a bowl of soup doesn't do you for lunch (ha! we doubt that given the size of this tureen), then try the crab puffs--a huge order for about a buck.

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