Whatever image the word “paradise” conjures in your midwinter mind, the result is likely a warm, comforting one—much like a steaming bowl of Vietnamese soup at Pho Paradise. Nirvana here is served by the ladle and under the glow of a big neon sign. While there’s no mistaking the sparse surroundings for a lost utopia, soothe yourself instead with slippery rice noodles in fragrant beef broth, available in small ($5.25), large ($5.95) and extra large ($6.95). With soups, there are plenty of choices to make including noodle style, type of meat, and an array of fresh condiments such as plump lime wedges for squeezing, Thai basil and bean sprouts. The beef version is a veritable variety pack: sliced eye round, brisket, flank, tendon and tripe. If chewy tendon isn’t tempting, go for chicken, pork or seafood. There are plenty of non-soup choices as well: a full page of inexpensive appetizers like cha gio (crispy spring rolls) or banh mi chien tom (fried shrimp toast), noodle dishes topped with fresh herbs, and a drink menu that includes one tropical anomaly: a coconut juice and meat libation. Hmmm…maybe next time.
337 Broad Street, Providence, 369-7990. Open Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat.
10 a.m.–10 p.m. BYOB. All major credit cards accepted. Parking lot.