Vietnamese Cuisine: Update 1

I have spent my time the past few weeks in both Williamsburg and Northern Virginia. While in Williamsburg, I’ve worked on the introductory research paper about the history of phở and the content analysis. While in Northern Virginia, I’ve observed my grandmother cook different Vietnamese dishes.  I took notes and plan to replicate the items for the cookbook later this month.


For the research paper, I’ve found it particularly difficult to find any scholarly information on the history of phở. It’s origins are murky, and most of the sources are on informal blogs. The most helpful resource thus far has been The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen. She includes information on how phở reflects Vietnamese history and explains the reasons behind regional variations.

As for the content analysis, I obtained all data on 5/11/18. A search on Yelp for “Vietnamese” in Fairfax County, VA obtained 696 results. Filtering for the “Vietnamese” tag left 267 results. I decided to exclude any results with 0 reviews, as it was difficult to determine if they were repeat entires or still operating, as well as any bakeries & food marts. This left me with 254 results to review.

For the different criteria, I will be quantifying how many restaurants include the word “pho” in the name. Of the restaurants that do not have the word “pho” in the name, many use alternative words like “noodles” or still serve pho as the primary menu item. To quantify that, I will check for the word “pho” in the google search description or the main restaurant page. If neither of those exists, I will review the first page of yelp reviews to see if pho is the most mentioned item. Of the restaurants that do not meet those criteria, I will also be checking if they serve pho on the menu.

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