It’s Phobruary in Milwaukee!

Here’s how to make the most of the brothy month.

Hey, it’s February and that means it’s also Phobruary – a particularly apt time to support the Asian restaurants in the Milwaukee neighborhood of Silver City (whose business district runs along West National Avenue between, roughly, 34th and 37th streets).

The culinary community here is home to, among other spots, Vientiane Noodle Shop, Bamboo and Thai Bar-B-Que, as well as the grocery store Asian International Market – all places you should check out if you’re jonesing to eat (or make) one of my favorite soups of all time, pho. The broth in this Vietnamese specialty is the star, an aromatic mix of meat stock (often beef) and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and star anise. You just want to inhale it. The meat could be brisket, oxtails or even chicken; the starch, thick rice noodles. And it also comes with add-ins, which I love to load up on. Onions, Thai basil, cilantro, Thai chiles, bean sprouts and fresh lime. 


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February isn’t be the only time to support these restaurants, but this month is a good reminder of the support our local dining establishments so sorely need. Both Vientiane (3422 W. National Ave.) and Thai Bar-B-Que (3417 W. National Ave.) are offering specials all month. Vientiane is doing $5 bowls of pho (Mon-Fri, dine-in only). At Thai Bar-B-Que, the specials include $5.99 pho (available from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., dine-in and carryout) and $1 crab rangoons (dine-in and carry-out).

Neighborhood association VIA Community Development Corp. is also running a Phobruary $25 gift card giveaway. Click here to learn more about that.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.