Pho, parks, pucks, and a photo — finally!

A day off from work was a great day to get out and explore! I tried a new restaurant, went for a walk, and finally got a photo of one of the Gateway Monuments. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

An afternoon in Arlington, Texas

  • Phở95 restaurant
  • Red Kane Park
  • Gateway Monument

Phở95: Asian Fusion and Vietnamese in South Arlington

I studied the menu for a final moment before taking the plunge. “I’d like the house coffee, an order of egg rolls, and the combination pho,” I announced to the waitress.

I wanted to try a variety of things. Phở95 is the closest restaurant to my house, and I must shamefully admit, this was my first time.

Although new to me, Phở95 isn’t a new restaurant. They have two locations in Arlington. The original on Arkansas Lane opened in 1995, hence the restaurant’s name. (The numbers in pho restaurant names usually have significance.) I was at the other location on Cooper Street, which opened in 2010.

Not long after ordering, my lunch began to arrive.

First was the House Coffee. It’s hot Vietnamese coffee mixed with hazelnut cream, served in a tall glass over ice. I’m not usually fond of hazelnut, but the coffee was tasty, strong, and not too sweet.

Next up was the Vietnamese Fried Egg Rolls (Chả Giò). They were fried to crispy perfection on the outside and tender on the inside. The rolls were stuffed with ground pork, shrimp, chicken, and vegetables, served with a tuna fish dipping sauce.

The Combination Pho (Đặc Biệt – Tái Nạm Gấu Gân Sách) arrived as the grand finale. Pho, pronounced “fuh” and not “foe,” is generally a broth with noodles, herbs, and meat. This version contained eye round steak, flank, fatty brisket, tendon, and tripe. The pho looked incredible, and the steam rising from the bowl reassured me that I had made a wise choice. Now the big question — how do I eat it?

Clumsily armed with chopsticks, a fork, and a small ladle-like spoon, I glanced around the dining room to steal someone else’s methods. After some trial and error, I dismantled the massive bowl of pho. I was glad to be at a table against the wall, away from the center of attention.

The thinly sliced meat was tender, while the fatty brisket had a nice chewiness. The noodles were soft and the vegetables fresh, while the flavorful herbs and broth may have been my favorite part. Asian cuisine often looks as good as it tastes, with aesthetics and presentation playing a vital role. My lunch was no exception.

Phở95 – pho, egg rolls, house coffee, and menu

After a filling and fulfilling meal, it was time to move on. I tried something different and out of my comfort zone. Phở95 has delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere; I will return!

While dessert was tempting, an after-lunch walk sounded even better.

F.J. “Red” Kane Park and O.W. Fannin Natural Area: A quiet walk in South Arlington

It’s a beautiful day,” the old man said as we passed each other on the park’s walking trail. His aged face had a genuine smile and eyes that sparkled with gratitude.

I glanced around, smiled, and nodded in agreement. “It sure is,” I replied, surprised by his positivity.

Soon after, I paused for a moment to reflect on his words. It certainly was a beautiful day — nearly 60 degrees outside, a cloudless blue sky overhead, and a pleasant breeze lazily wafting through the winter afternoon.

F.J. “Red” Kane Park

I continued my walk through the woods to the back of the park, where it meets a residential street. It wasn’t my first time here — I knew to keep going for the real highlight of the walk. Red Kane Park connects with the O.W. Fannin Natural Area, located in Arlington’s Fannin Farm addition. As a much more woodsy and secluded stretch than the park, the natural area offers a quiet walk that feels miles away from the nearby bustle of Cooper Street. Although it has various trails going further into the woods, you can stay on the main path if you’re short on time. The whole trek from Red Kane to O.W. Fannin takes 20 minutes or less roundtrip, making it a quick and pleasant escape.

O.W. Fannin Natural Area

F.J. “Red” Kane Park also has a pond for fishing, grassy areas for sport and play, basketball courts, and a playground. It’s a popular area in south Arlington; however, many people may not realize it connects with the O.W. Fannin Natural Area. That will be our little secret.

Who was F.J. “Red” Kane?

F.J. “Red” Kane (1923-2016) was a professional hockey player before serving 18 years on the Arlington Parks and Recreation Board. Kane’s hockey career began in 1943, when he played for the Indianapolis Capitals in the AHL and the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL. Later, he played for the Fort Worth Rangers of the USHL from 1946 to 1949. He played in four different leagues during his hockey career and even played baseball. After retiring from professional sports in 1952, Kane and his wife settled in Fort Worth and later in Arlington, where he became a local businessman. Arlington dedicated “Red” Kane Park in 1995. Mr. Kane passed away in 2016 at the age of 93.

More info about Mr. Kane –

Gateway Monument

Lastly, I finally got a photo of one of the Gateway Monuments. There are supposedly seven of these 20-foot structures planned, but I believe only two are completed so far. This one is on Highway 287 and near Russell Curry Road, welcoming folks entering Arlington from the south.

Gateway Monument

Blog post and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 02-02-22

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