Wayne State students’ dish is a ‘pho’nomenon


Some students were brave enough to use chopsticks, but others or opted for a traditional utensil. (Photo credit: Bridgette Conniff)

A pair of Wayne State dietetics students crafted a special treat for Mercy students on March 17. A version of pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, was served to students in the cafeteria as the day’s hot lunch. To get into the spirit, the cafeteria staff even decorated the cafeteria with festive decorations to get students excited for the dish.

Wayne State students Krystal Rana and Kate Mann designed the dish for one of their assignments.

“We had to pick the dish, buy the decorations, and everything [for our assignment,]” said Mann.

Pho is not what most would expect to be served in a high school cafeteria setting, so the Wayne State students thought it would be interesting to switch things up.

“We were really looking for ideas that [Mercy] didn’t have,” said Mann. “We thought pho would be really complicated and we were scared that the girls wouldn’t like it, but it seems to be a hit.”

The pho-inspired dish consisted of many delicious choices. Each student was able to personalize their own noodle and broth bowl with ingredients such as Teriyaki chicken, tofu, bok choy, mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, onions, and carrots. The cafeteria also provided an assortment of condiments to compliment the dish, including Sriracha sauce, Hoisin sauce, and lime.

“We made sure we had lots of choices,” said Rana. “We have noticed [Mercy] girls love to mix and match their choices.”

Senior Sam Shina enjoyed the pho, but she did have her criticisms.

“I feel like it could have been a little more authentic,” said Shina. “I’ve had Vietnamese food once or twice. This wasn’t a perfect hit.”

However, overall, Shina enjoyed the Asian-inspired cuisine. She was especially appreciative of the option to load on the toppings herself.

“I thought it was so creative,” said Shina. “I didn’t expect the cafeteria to serve something like that.”

Junior Lauren Foley also found the pho to be very delicious.

“It was fantastic,” said Foley. “It was a good change of pace.”