As a slightly homesick newcomer to Philadelphia in search of comfort through food, it felt as if everyone I asked knew what I was searching for and what the antidote was.

Pho 75.

Located in a strip mall on Washington Avenue, Pho 75 stands out with its large yellow banner spanning the entire length of the building and more. The neon “PHO75” sign shines against the backdrop of the relatively empty street. Before entering, I know I'm walking into a space that has been a fixture of the community.

Inside, there are teenagers hanging out, mothers trying to feed their kids, single diners on their phones, businessmen, tourists, and me. There's no target demographic for a comforting bowl of soup.

Photo: Weining Ding

The menu offers little in the way of customization, except for your choice in the cuts of meat and size of your bowl. If you feel adventurous, you can choose tripe, tendon, or even both. Otherwise, no matter the choice, the tender meat infused with the layered flavor of the broth is guaranteed to be delicious.

I select the skirt steak, and my friends each order different cuts so we can experience as much variety as possible.

While I wait, I take in the ambiance: The tables are plain with hoisin sauce and sriracha in reused bottles covered in duct tape. The restaurant also only accepts cash. When you are done with your bowl, you walk up to the register to pay.

After a short wait, the bowls arrive piping hot on a large tray. Each bowl is precariously filled with a mound of meat, endlessly long rice noodles, and shaved onion and herbs floating atop.

Like a mother cooking dinner and offering seemingly endless amounts of vegetables, Pho 75 is also generous with its garnish. Even while I'm rapt in my bowl of pho (one hand slurping down the noodles, the other hurriedly reaching into the mountain of bean sprouts and basil to dump into my bowl), there are still sprouts and herbs left on the plate at the end of the meal.

However, the most important transformative experience is with the broth itself. Acidic, umami, rich, robust; all these descriptors exist simultaneously in my mouth. The lime and spices add a brightness that balances the richness of a beef broth simmering for hours. Most surprisingly, it's perfectly salted. I find other restaurants tend to over–salt the broth to compensate for the lack of flavor. Pho 75 understands how salt is meant to enhance natural flavor, not to mask it.

In addition to pho, you can’t go wrong with their drinks. The black drip–pot coffee with condensed milk is the perfect sweet ending to the savory broth. Further, their plum soda is incredibly bright and punchy, especially after drinking soup on a hot day.

Photo: Weining Ding

No matter who you are, whether you're celebrating a new opportunity or seeking comfort in a place far from home, a bowl of delicious pho is always going to be a soothing remedy.

TL;DR: Pho 75 is a quick, simple stop for Vietnamese pho soup in many varieties with choices in soup base and cuts of beef.

Location: 1122 Washington Ave.

Hours: Monday through Sunday 9 a.m.—8 p.m.

Price: $