Archive | February, 2012

Only Two Choices: Oink or Cluck – 53 of 365

The keys to a city’s hidden delights usually remain secreted away by the locals who want to keep the masses from contaminating their haunts.   Come on, go ahead and admit it.  You’ve done the same in your hometown.   We want to keep all the great unwashed safely quarantined away at the Olive Garden out by the mall, right?  […]

Bún Bò Nam Bộ in Hanoi – 52 of 365

When Hanoi’s Tay Ho neighborhood was home for me, my friends and I would meet at Cafe Chi Em on Xuan Dieu Road next to the Syrena Tower at least once or twice a week for some cheap street food.   When I found myself back in Tay Ho for a work overnight sampling some of my old haunts, […]

A Look At Some Food Way Off The Trail

My long walks through Saigon expose me to a world so unlike the one I come home to.  The more adventurous side of food lurks at every corner:  

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 […]

Bún Chả, My Favorite Vietnamese Food – 50 of 365

It’s pronounced boon chaaaaah with a nasally vowel sound.   It’s also the first Vietnamese food I sampled after moving to Hanoi and quickly became my all-time favorite.  My Vietnamese coworkers introduced me to “noodles grilled” at a street food restaurant whose bedraggled authenticity nuked my western sensibilities into submission.  I lowered myself onto a tiny […]

Vietnamese Fast Food Chicken – 49 of 365

My highest level of achievement after almost two years here is being able to count to three.   As long as life transpires in multiples of three, all is good.   While out exploring Hanoi on foot during a work overnight, I passed a place on Thanh Nien Road just south of Truc Bach Lake called BBQ Chicken that […]

Yellow Eggs and Red Fish – 48 of 365

Chicken and waffles.   Even green eggs and ham.  So many unrelated foods mix together to form a meal whose taste inspires more than its name ever can.  The daily selection at the local lunch stand, fit more for locals than this western man, left me wondering if I should just head next door for the more boring […]

My New Normal – 47 of 365

My world is anything but normal over here in Asia.  Still after almost two years in Hanoi and Saigon, what is mundane for the Vietnamese can become quite the sensory overload for me.  And what is more common in Vietnam than the ubiquitous bowl of phở?  I know we’ve already slurped down a bowl or two of this noodle soup together, and against […]

Not Quite Sure What These Are – 46 of 365

The grilled mussel type dish the other day at Cô Bảy 3 on Nguyen Huu Canh next to my apartment tower was decent enough to where I would eat there again, and I wandered by once more on one of my walks.  Maybe déjà vu does exist because I found myself staring at all the scary shells […]

Looks Like A Pile Of. . . – 45 of 365

I think I strained Café 91’s lunchtime infrastructure by arriving just a tad bit too early since the day’s full selection had yet to fill the metal serving cart at this lunch joint next to my apartment on Nguyen Huu Canh.  Slim pickings at 11am helped me settle on tiny round fish in a brown sauce over the pig ear […]