I’m not a baby boomer so I really can’t answer your specific question. But, I can tell you why I don’t eat it. I saw a short article about pho and it sounded very interesting. Did a search on it, found out it’s pronounced fuh, learned it’s history (Chinese street food tailored to Vietnamese tastes) and marveled at the many variations. I got all excited and couldn’t wait to try it.
As luck would have it, only months before, an authentic pho house had opened up just about a mile from my house. I talked my wife into going there for lunch. The menu descriptions were minimalist, they presumed you already knew what you were getting. The staff (family, as this is a family run business) were less than accommodating and just could not explain more than what I could read for myself from the menu.
Well, I figured, how bad can it be? This was probably as authentic as I was likely to ever see. After all, the name of the restaurant is Pho House and the owners are Vietnamese.
I ordered the shrimp pho and she ordered the beef. The image of had from reading about it was of an aromatic broth, vegetables, noodles and protein. Both came with the blandest, most insipid beef broth I have ever tasted. In fact, I didn’t taste it as it had no taste. There was very little meat and vegetable; it was mostly noodles. At least I did get shrimp. My wife’s bowl contained what we found out later was beef tendon: the stuff one normally spits out when you accidentally put it in your mouth. When we commented to the server we got the universal shrug signifying “who cares?”
I don’t eat pho.