Archive | February, 2012
Grilled Scallops

Market Stall Tapas – 73 of 365

I stumbled upon a woman’s blog entry extolling the virtues of casual dining in America.  Evidently Chili’s is expanding America’s immense girth one calorie at a time with some Triple Dipper Menu where “3 Appetizers + 3 Dips = 1 Happy You.”   I don’t know about this one.  They expect me to spend $10.49 plus […]

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Vegetarian Pork – 72 of 365

An English language commercial for PETA belting out of a clothing store’s sidewalk speaker seemed so incongruous with the very local surroundings far from Saigon’s touristland.  And how ironic that only steps away vendors oblivious to PETA’s message hacked away at various animal parts.   I highly doubt the lady cutting up the foul smelling fish […]

ốc in the street market

Ốc Hấp Xả Cuộn Tía Tô Snail Balls – 71 of 365

The street market behind my apartment tower both fascinates and revolts with its piles of unidentifiable meat offerings. Anyone brought up on the predictable blandness lining the shelves of a clean American grocery store can’t help but rubberneck at all the crazy crap people eat over here. An elderly man selling snails off the back […]

Bún Thịt Nướng

Bún Thịt Nướng BBQ – 70 of 365

Seeing our Saigon home through the eyes of an outsider can change our own insider’s views.   Things that once wowed us soon fade into the background only to now go unnoticed.  What seems so normal and mundane now had once upon a time transported us on a journey far, far beyond our comfort zones.   Perhaps […]

Fish Loaf

Mắm Chưng Mystery Meat – 69 of 365

In addition to some sensory overload, Saigon offers an endless array of food choices as well.  Before heading home from my several hour walk, I happened to walk past Com 37 which consistently provides  my diet interesting diversity.  Fresh dishes of food, some more identifiable than others, lined the metal serving cart and table.   Nothing was really […]

BBQ Done Right

Sườn Nướng Vietnamese Spare Ribs – 68 of 365

Arguing who knows barbecue best almost seems a sport in America…Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Uncle Bob and so on.  Once we narrow down a region, who can even decide which is better…dry rub, vinegar, tomato based, and more.   The debate rages on with no end in sight.   Even Bobby Flay has four shows on the Food Network […]

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Jersey vs. Saigon – 67 of 365

A friend back home was excited to try the Vietnamese sub sandwich at his office’s food court.  So excited indeed that he ate two in so many days.   Andrew must have sensed my mounting skepticism of cafeteria Vietnamese food so within minutes a couple of pictures arrived in my inbox to prove my doubts otherwise.  So we got […]

Octopus with the Curry Sauce

Mực Xào Cà Ri Curry Squid – 66 of 365

While on one of my four hour walks through steamy Saigon I watched a large group of overweight, Birkenstock and fanny pack wearing seasoned citizens emerge from a tour bus as bright red as their sunburned girth.   They passed right from their hermetically sealed, air conditioned cocoon into the equally safe confines of a gated and […]

Mì Xào

Ramen Noodles??!! – 65 of 365

My sampling of Vietnam’s delights happens not through any prism of classical chef training or experience as a food critic but rather simply by what tastes good to me.  You and I are probably a lot alike in this way…we just know what makes us say, “Wow.  Seconds please.”  A simple Double-Double from In-N-Out Burger usually excites me more than any […]

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Bánh đa Cua Haiphong Noodle Soup – 64 of 365

I remember reading a quote that phở is the liquid fueling Vietnam.   Indeed, a random wall mural in an alley off Hanoi’s Son Tay Street seems to confirm this hypothesis as phở is clearly represented at the base of the food pyramid.   Did you have any idea noodle soup is a food group?  Don’t worry, somehow […]

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