Archive | March, 2012

The Hunt for a Great Bánh Mì – 97 of 365

Subway sells a meatball marinara sandwich that I admit isn’t too bad in the absence of a more compelling lunch choice.   Come to think of it though, Subway has never advertised those cow balls as actually 100% all beef, have they?   OK, time to eat some 100% fresh and natural Vietnamese food.  Let’s head out on the hunt for […]

Đậu Rồng Dragon Beans – 96 of 365

A strange green vegetable with four wing looking sides is my latest and greatest street market find.  And as always, this market journey ended with busybody housewives pulling open my plastic bags without first asking to satisfy that nagging question of just what in the heck would a western guy buy.  Their excited “oooooaaaaahhs” at […]

Bánh Cuốn Nóng Street Food Breakfast – 95 of 365

In Hanoi’s Truc Bach Lake neighborhood across from the rather rundown Chau Long Market whose weatherworn facade has seen better days, an entire culinary world awaits exploration.  It’s funny how I had to move from Hanoi to discover Hanoi.   Coming back on a regular basis for work related trips has given me ample time to get […]

Necessity Is The Mother Of All Inventions

You might remember meal #87 which was the western pizza baked from scratch in Vietnam.   The quest for ingredients and more importantly an oven led to my latest piece for Tuoi Tre newspaper.  Here is the link and the text follows below in case the link doesn’t work. Necessity is the Mother of All […]

Dế Roasted Crickets – 94 of 365

Instead of a 7 year old refusing to eat a single green bean and a chunk of well done steak, here we have a grown man afraid of a bowl of crickets.  Yes, you have read that correctly.  Crickets.  Small black crunchy crickets.   The same crickets that make nighttime noise in the swamp.  Where’s mom […]

Imagine This Food Joint In America – 93 of 365

I couldn’t help but wonder from which rice paddy they culled some wizened old water buffalo as I chewed and chewed and chewed some more on a rather tough piece of meat.  After a few more teeth grinding gnaws, I had to finally spit out this animal chunk looking much the same as when it had gone in […]

Bún Hến Getting On The Trail – 92 of 365

Out of curiosity I decided to dabble a bit in the touristy side of Saigon and consulted the online version of Lonely Planet for a list of restaurants where westerners could comfortably dip their toes into Saigon’s dining scene.  Interestingly enough a Brazilian steakhouse takes the number one ranking.  The first Vietnamese place doesn’t even […]

Shopping With The Real Housewives of Saigon – 91 of 365

Pushing and shoving with the Real Housewives of Saigon in their conical hats and overly colorful pajamas at the street market is fun.   Selecting food from sidewalk mats is some seriously cheap entertainment, too.  The equivalent of three dollars loads up flimsy plastic bags full of avocado, five birdseye chili peppers, two spring onions, pumpkin flowers, […]

Bánh Tôm Shrimp Cakes – 90 of 365

A strip of several open air restaurants selling bánh tôm and snails lines a narrow street making a 90 degree turn at a lakeside temple in Hanoi’s Tay Ho neighborhood.  As with most mom and pop businesses in Vietnam, shops selling a certain product or service cluster in groups under the assumption locating next to the competition […]

Phở Cuốn Rolling Noodle – 89 of 365

My friend Phuc introduced me to Phở Cuốn Huong Mai at 25 Ngu Xa Street in Hanoi for the grilled duck, and never in a million years would I have found this street food joint on my own.  Guidebook pages generally stop short of anything so local and far removed from the main tourist areas.  On the one hand […]