Here ye, here ye:
Pho is cheap, easy, and should be relatively predictable. While I'm finally trying to branch out and experience all that the Vietnamese restaurant world has to offer, I still need a safe haven home base to come back to. For me (and probably most of Seattle), that's Than Brothers. It doesn't help that there seems to be a location in virtually every neighborhood in the greater Seattle area, including some of the suburbs. It's quick and probably your cheapest option for a filling meal.
Of course, there's the cream puff conflict. I just don't want to eat the cream puff, ok? My gag reflex puts in an appearance the moment I get the first 'more cream than puff' bite (if you can call chugging cream a “bite”) so I avoid the dessert all together. And yes, I believe it's a dessert. Despite being served before your meal, their website directly states that it is for dessert! Well, actually they say it is for desert but I think you get the point.
Enjoy the cheap pho! Enjoy the cream puff as well, if you're so inclined.