Yeah folks, in NYC today to sit in with Susan and Derek but at home it’s Pho Peace Wednesday. Click the link above or read the article here. Who would have thought… Pho in Meigs County?
Me that’s who… and some of the best Pho you’re gonna find.
Stop on by, Wednesday or Thursday, 1100 to 1500.
A restaurant with a unique cuisine has opened at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch in Meigs County, and the food just happens to be Kaukonen’s favorite.
Jorma Kaukonen’s Pho Peace Restaurant is now operating in the ranch’s Beatrice Love Kitchen on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Unlike the Kitchen’s regular diners, who are Fur Peace guitar camp attendants or event ticket holders, the restaurant is open to the public.
So what is pho? Pronounced “fuh,” it’s a Vietnamese soup that usually consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat, usually either beef or chicken. It’s served with a side of bean sprouts, basil and often a hot pepper that can be added into the soup.
Vanessa Kaukonen, Jorma’s wife who is owner and CEO of the operation, confirmed that pho is her husband’s favorite food. He seeks out different restaurants serving pho in every major city where he tours.
One of his favorite pho restaurants is a place in Arlington, Virginia, called Pho Golden Cow. After he took Vanessa to the restaurant to dine last May, she came up with the idea of opening their own pho restaurant.
They brought home a menu from Pho Golden Cow for their kitchen’s chef, Justin Berry, to read and use to develop his own take on the soup. Vanessa said that Berry’s pho blew her and Jorma away with its taste.
For Vanessa and many other folks who appreciate good pho, the broth’s taste is what makes the soup.
“I’d put my pho up against any big-city pho restaurant,” she said.
The menu is simple, offering authentic beef and chicken pho dishes, a vegetarian pho served with tofu meatballs, pickled vegetables, ice chai tea and a smoothie bar.
The restaurant uses local ingredients, such as Dexter Run meatballs and King Family chicken, to make the dishes. Vanessa said the restaurant provides a “delicious, healthy, local and fresh meal” for its patrons.
Vanessa said that for years she wanted to open a restaurant, but with the management of the ranch she didn’t have time to commit to a full seven-day schedule. After eating at Pho Golden Cow, she said she began thinking about how the restaurant could work.
The two-day, limited hours of the restaurant work around the guitar-camp schedule. Vanessa said that most people aren’t going to drive 15-20 minutes outside of Athens for dinner, which is why the restaurant isn’t open later. Yet, considering how crowded Athens gets during the school year around lunch time, the restaurant’s short distance and quick service works well for Athens-area-based patrons on their lunch break.
Customers can also rent the entire restaurant out for parties up to 30 people who can pay per bowl of pho.
The restaurant’s location provides a setting for customers to enjoy the country scenery along with the meal, Vanessa said. They also can check out the grounds of the Fur Peace Ranch and the Psylodelic Gallery, an art gallery that is currently featuring the work of the late Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead leader and member of the Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame.
Customers might also get a chance to dine with Vanessa’s famous musician husband, Jorma, also a member of the Hall of Fame by virtue of his work with the Jefferson Airplane.
Vanessa Kaukonen said she couldn’t do anything without her staff. “My staff makes me shine, no doubt about it,” she said.
The Fur Peace Ranch is located at 39495 St. Clair Road. The mailing address is Pomeroy, though the ranch is actually several miles northwest of that Meigs County town, off of U.S. Rt. 33 East from Athens.