In Northeast Dallas, nestled in the corner of a bustling Asian Shopping center between a hair salon and a nail supply shop, sits my absolute favorite pho in Dallas. At first glance, a passerby might miss this nondescript establishment, but the under appreciated restaurant has been a staple in my family for years, acting as our go-to destination for feel-good pho and comforting steamy rice platters. Dallas Pho lovers, meet Pho 95.

Comedian Amy Wong put it best when she commented on the typical markers of a top Pho restaurant, exclaiming, “You can tell, first and foremost, by the name, [if] it don’t got a number in it…It’s not authentic.” And Pho 95 is no exception. Many Vietnamese restaurants include numbers in their names that happen to hold significance to the owner and his or her family. Oftentimes this number represents an important date in Vietnamese history, the year in which the family came to America, or even just a number the owner deems lucky. To put it simply, this number is intentional, and therefore it’s a good predictor of authenticity, as it typically indicates a personal connection between the restaurant owner’s Vietnamese heritage and the food.

In fact, at Pho 95, most of the item names on the menu are in Vietnamese and the interior of the restaurant is even fashioned with Oriental artwork, statues, and other unique decor, including a pillar made of stone in the middle of the restaurant. But thankfully, you won’t have trouble picking out the perfect pho, as the short descriptions on the menu are in English. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with whatever you order here, but I’d be phoo-ling you (get it?) if I said there weren’t a few standouts.

I typically begin my voyage into Vietnamese cuisine at Pho 95 with an order of spring rolls served with a creamy peanut sauce. These rice paper-wrapped rolls are light and refreshing, but dipping them into the thick sauce is a necessity. Sure, they might not be as healthy doused in the savory peanut butter blend, but they sure do taste more flavorful. Few food pairings can rival the likes of peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese, but at Pho 95, spring rolls and peanut sauce are a strong contender.

While my appetizer could arguably be considered a finger-food, my main course most certainly is not. Carefully tearing open the delicate paper packaging in front of me, I prepare to make a clean break to separate my weapons of mass consumption: chopsticks. It’s time for pho.

The menu highlights a selection of soups, which vary by the protein that you choose to add to them. My personal favorite is #15. I’ll probably never learn how to pronounce its name correctly, but luckily the waiters are trained to identify each dish by its name and its number (#blessed that pho has finally infiltrated the American market). If #15 were to have an English title, I think it would be Mouthwatering Meatball, due to the delectable, perfectly sculpted beef meatballs that float on the surface of this savory dish. It’s difficult to describe my excitement when, after an agonizing, but always impressive short 10-minute wait, my enormous (seriously, these portions are massive) hot bowl of rice noodles emerges from the kitchen alongside a fresh plate of bean sprouts, basil leaves, and lime prepped and ready to garnish.

This bowl is the perfect combination of hearty beef and thin, watery soup that pho-fanatics crave. I especially appreciate the sides of sriracha and hoisin sauces, which make the dish more customizable and add a nice contrast of spicy and sweet flavors.

Pho 95 might not exhibit the trademark glitz and glam of some of Dallas’s most premier restaurants, but this hole-in-the-wall spot is definitely worth a visit. It’s actually kind of nice that you don’t have to dress up or worry about seeing half the town here, because you really get to focus on the food – which is pho-bulous (okay, I’ll stop now).

Over the past few years, the pho scene in Dallas has grown tremendously. Other spots I enjoy include Pho Bay, Pho Bang, and Pho 88. (Remember the number thing?) But at the end of a tough day, a piping hot bowl of my favorite Mouthwatering Meatball Pho (should I suggest this name to the restaurant?) always manages to cheer me up. The next time you pass by a seemingly boring, nondescript shopping center, take a second look. If you see a set of numbers emblazoned on the storefront, you may just want to turn around.