If you aren’t familiar with Pho you are missing out! This is a Viet Namese noodle soup that puts great focus on the broth. It needs to be full of flavor and not cloudy. You don’t want bits of the aromatics floating around so it’s strained before serving. I’ve seen it seasoned different ways but normally there is always ginger and onion along with the meat bones. In chicken Pho you cook the chicken in the broth too. You then remove the meat and discard the bones. A lot of people put fish sauce in the broth but I’ve also seen it as a condiment. I’ve only made this once myself and for a family of four, it lasted a very long time. It’s a great soup to make for crowd.
But, I digress, I was reading through my Facebook feed and noted that the local organic market was making the chicken version one evening. So, I had to try it out and invited my friend Sara to join me. The Downtown Farm Stand is owned and operated by Dave and Sara Ring. There was a need for a market and this is a closer grocery option for the apartment dwellers downtown. They appear to have a nice following.
They are the only completely organic grocery in town. Much of the produce comes from their own farm as well as other local Indiana farms. They offer lunch daily and in the warmer weather they barbeque on Friday evenings. I will admit this was my first time eating there and I didn’t even realize they had delivery and catering options.
Dave made the soup on this evening. They use all organic ingredients of course. It’s a bit different than the version I was raised on but it was pretty good. In traditional chicken pho, you make the broth and pour it over cooked rice noodles, top with shredded chicken meat and then add condiments. They boiled the chicken with onions, ginger, anise, garlic and other spices. I thought the broth was excellent. They didn’t use the traditional rice noodles but this was pretty good regardless. The condiments they offered included mint, lime, green chili sauce, diced green onion, and basil as well as sauces.
I grew up with basil, mint, cilantro, Hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, sliced green onions, lime wedges and French fried onions or garlic. My mother and her friend Lon make pho with beef. (The Downtown Farm Stand has hosted special beef pho nights but I haven’t tried that.) Let me tell you that the beef is an art form. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it right now. That will be another story….
Making pho can take a half a day to prepare. I give thumbs up to the folks at the Downtown Farm Stand! If I find myself missing this tasty chicken noodle soup I’d come back.
I’d like to add a quote from their website, “All of our groceries in the store are produced organically so that customers can feel assured that everything they purchase is petro-chemical, GMO, synthetic hormone, and antibiotic free. A major benefit of organic food is that it is higher in nutrition and lacks the carcinogens of industrial food.” If you go to their website you find all kinds of information on their farm, reading recommendations on the food industry, and special events. I love what they are trying to do and I’m glad to support a local business. They have been open since 2007 and Dave’s great-grandfather owned the former Crescent Grocery in Muncie.
For more information about the Downtown Farm Stand check out their website.
Farm Stand Hours
Mon – Sat 9am to 8pm
Sun – 11 am to 5 pm
Parking available on Main Street and Mulberry Street