Archive | May, 2012

Phở Gà Chicken Noodle Soup – 167 of 365

A while back a single piece of chicken hacked out of the carcass skin, bone and all was finally the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak as I tried to in vain to enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  I vowed then and there it would be a cold day in hell […]

Ốc Hấp Lá Chanh Snails With Lemon Leaves – 166 of 365

When I moved to Hanoi two years ago, my friend Phuc quickly became my food guru and introduced me to one dish after another deep in parts of town far removed from the tourists and expats.  One of the first Phuc approved street foods to cross my path was snails or ốc.  By now you’ve […]

Bún Mọc Pork Noodle Soup – 165 of 365

Just around the corner from Hanoi’s West Lake and one of its many temples is a no name sidewalk soup joint on Quang Thanh Street in front of Alley 194.  Tiny plastic stools and tables line a concrete wall with a food cart and cauldron holding the morning’s bounty.  Though I couldn’t pursuade my friend Allie to dive […]

Bún Riêu Cua ốc Crab Snail Noodle Soup – 164 of 365

Another random discovery has broadened my food world one tasty spoonful at a time.  Hem 18A is quite easy to miss in District 1 just off Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street.  Hem means “alley” but these aren’t the narrow service streets behind houses and buildings we know so well in the US.  Alleys done Vietnam style […]

Bò Kho Beef Stew – 163 of 365

Asking for one bò kho at an unnamed street food joint in Binh Thanh District at 15 Nguyen Van Lac Street only ordered mass confusion as no one seemed to know what I wanted.  So I pointed to it by name on a sign and all of a sudden choruses of “Aaahhh bò kho. Bò kho.  […]

Tofu With Ginger – 162 of 365

Vendors taking it to the streets to earn a living peddling food is nothing out of the ordinary in Vietnam.  Walk down any street and soon enough a woman balancing a long pole across one of her shoulders will cross your path.  From this piece of wood balance two heavy baskets laden with her day’s bounty.   […]

Cá Diêu Hồng Chiên Giòn Fried Tilapia – 161 of 365

My friend and coworker, Diep, owns Truong Nguyen Restaurant in District 3.  The food is fresh and the great prices even more refreshing.   This place tucked away down an alley at 66/5 Pham Ngoc Thach Street could be hard to miss, but judging by the constant flow of people, word is luckily out how to […]

Bò Cao Bồi Western Bacon Cheeseburger – 160 of 365

District 1’s high rise Vincom Center with its collection of luxury stores and chain restaurants is about as close to the West as Saigon gets.  Down in the basement food court is a Carl’s Jr of all restaurants, and unlike KFC offering local nuances such as rice with the chicken, Carl’s Jr is full on, […]

A Hem For All Meals

I’ve been exploring Saigon’s alleys for new foods and the delicious results inspired this week’s article for Tuoi Tre newspaper.   Unlike back home, alleys are not the sort of place where the unsuspecting might get jacked up and robbed.  These are vibrant neighborhoods where the authentic Saigon rises around the narrow passageways.  Here is the […]

Cháo Sò Lông Mussel Porridge – 159 of 365

Is it just me or as anyone else disturbed by hearing cheesy 1980s Wham ballads belting out of a coffee shop’s sidewalk speakers?  Perhaps the owners should use this as a clue as to why their joint was empty.  That noise sure did propel me further on down the road, and I took solace in […]