Pastry Lunch – 51 of 365

Yes, these six tiny pastries really were a legitimate meal for me and not just some quick afternoon delight.  All you moms out there, take note.  Lunches lacking any pretense of nutritional value are the adult manifestation of childhood sugar deprivation.  You see, I grew up in a world with no sugar cereal, sugar snacks, sugar soda, Kool-Aid, Tang, caffeine…ok…you get the picture.   Of course mom had her own private stock of soda, peanut butter cookies, and Frosted Flakes that we would steal from, and I wonder if she knew when we were hiding behind the open refrigerator door, we were really pouring out small cups of her Pepsi.  But I digress.

The joy of fast forwarding a few decades is that I can still eat this sort of crap whenever I want.   I cashed in the junk food card while walking around the noisy, densely packed chaos called Hanoi’s Old Quarter.  On Hang Cot Street just south of Phan Dhin Phung Street is a pasty shop whose name I don’t know.  But this open air storefront is not easily missed sitting on a corner with a couple of steps leading up to a giant pastry case.

My Lunch Counter

Since I can point and count to three I was in business once I finally got someone to stop ignoring my presence.  Two customers and three very aloof clerks stared at me in absolute fascination that a western guy would actually eat European pastries obviously a remnant of the French legacy here.  You’ve got to love Hanoi.  I really wanted to let my middle finger do most of the talking but instead said, “ba” for “two” each time I made a selection with my index finger through the glass display.  The shop girl made no attempt to hide her irritation since she had to stoop down each time to verify which items my gestures were lining up with.

I had no idea what I was selecting, but the peanut gallery all around me kept a loud running commentary each time I added to my order.  This was like a Christmas present where you pray a dud isn’t lurking beneath all the wrapping paper.  At 3,000 Vietnamese Dong (or 14 cents) each though, how could I go wrong?  My six dense shortbread shells held banana slices under a thin chocolate coating, salty almonds under a sweet butter cream and finally banana pudding under chocolate with a white swirl.  While wandering around the old quarter I finished this lunch that left me less than satisfied.  I got to thinking maybe moms everywhere are right.  We shouldn’t eat this kind of junk for lunch.  I do concede six small pastries do not a real meal make.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

2 Comments on “Pastry Lunch – 51 of 365”

  1. placetoeatvn
    February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Wow, the price is very cheap for cake. I wanna know where is this place. Could you share?

  2. February 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Hang Cot Street just south of Phan Dhin Phung Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. At the first major intersection heading south from Phan Dhin Phung.

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