Market Report and Pho Restaurant Review

Boulder County Real Estate March 2015

Spring has sprung in Boulder County, and buyers are flocking to new listings in droves.  Single Family Home inventory was down 25% year on year in February, and sales were up 15% despite the scarcity indicating a hot seller’s market that is more challenging than ever for buyers.  Townhouse and Condominium sales also grew 7% from 2014 with inventory down 29%.  Do it yourself buyers on the major websites are finding that 50% of the inventory listed there as active is actually already under contract, emphasizing the importance of having an experienced buyer’s agent if you are serious about moving.  In the trenches, all is not as it seems in the news.  While some properties get bid up with competing offers, others don’t, and two factors are in play.  First, buyers today are less willing to make improvements.  In our time sensitive world, being “move in ready” and contemporary is a huge factor in price escalation.  Second, if a property is obviously overpriced, buyers will stay away.  No one wants to get burned as many did in the crash.  If you are considering selling and wondering what improvements will pay at the closing table, call me anytime at 303 704 7774 for a free consultation.  I have profitably flipped many houses and am happy to help. 

What the Pho is Pho? – The Best Pho in Boulder

For the uninitiated, no food elicits quite as puzzled looks as pho. What the pho is pho? Their faces say. Pronounced fuh, this reasonably priced Vietnamese noodle dish consists of a large bowl of beef broth with rice noodles to which meat, bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime, and Hoisin sauce are added to taste. Pholavor is all about the broth, everything from grilled ginger to nutmeg may be brewed in for up to 12 hours. All pho is gluten free, there are occasionally vegetarian varieties, and on cold wintry days before the end of spring, nothing is as good as a steamy inhale over a big bowl of pho. 

Boulder has three establishments specializing in pho and a few other outliers, but there is only one that dishes it up exclusively, Black Pepper Pho.  If you are accustomed to the traditional savory style, the South Vietnamese broth at BPP is unexpected at first, clove, fennel and cinnamon spices add complexity and a little sweetness.  The menu and atmosphere are Boulderesque, the meat is Angus or grass fed organic and vegetarian broth is available.  Adding to the phon at BPP is the selection of cocktails and quirky insistence on no tips. This makes it seem expensive and opens the service up for criticism but I have never had anything but a prompt, hassle-free experience for marginally higher prices. 

Boulder institution Chez Thuy offers a darker broth variety nearly overwhelmed by thin-shaved red onion and scallion for a heartier flavor - delivered just as apathetically by their servers as the rest of their food.  Larger lime wedges and plentiful basil make this a good fix and the beef slices are thicker.  It’s a worthy stop for any aficionado, and the rest of the menu is extensive for any non-slurpers.  


The Pho at Vina Pho and Grill

Like a gosling following the first thing it sees after it hatches, when pho calls I often return to Vina Pho and Grill where I had my first bowl five years ago. A traditional big bowl with ingredients of no pedigree starts at $7.50.  The broth is lighter in color and full of flavor, with a few of the more exotic toppings I love like tendon and tripe on offer.  The ideal meal here starts with the panko crusted chicken wings, don’t let the garlic scallions go to waste, and ends with Vietnamese coffee.  

Black Pepper Pho, 2770 Pearl St Boulder, CO 80302 (303) 440-1948

Chez Thuy, 2655 28th St, Boulder, CO 80301 (303) 442-1700

Vina Pho and Grill, 1630 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303 (303) 444-1809