Bún Nem Nướng Grilled Pork Noodles – 155 of 365

Bún Nem Nướng

Wandering around Saigon without agenda is one of the best ways to scope out new foods.   It’s hot, sweaty work in this summertime heat, but somebody’s got to do it.  Just before the bridge into Binh Thanh District at 2/2K Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street is a corner shop house across from the zoo.   Actually this is the same neighborhood as the Lunch Lady, and tourists on their culinary pilgrimage to eat in Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps might hurry past Quan An restaurant without giving it much of a glance.  Actually how can anyone miss this joint with that charcoal grill smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk?   Imagine a barbecue stand in the middle of downtown Chicago where people meander.   Can you say lawsuit?

This, for lack of a better word, dumpy restaurant has intrigued me for months, yet I could never work up the courage for this had been just a tad bit local for this westerner.  Time has tempered my standards and little shocks me out on the streets anymore.  I’m a whole new person now when it comes to eating and this metamorphosis finally pushed me into this place.   It’s true…some of the best food comes from fan cooled, sweltering holes in the wall just like this one.

Bún nem nướng, rice noodles and soup for just under a buck…This lunch combo deal can’t be beat.  Pork  marinated in fish sauce, sugar and lemongrass is a fine combination of tastes charring to perfection over hot coals.  Have you ever had a piece of grilled meat melt in your mouth with the flavors washing all over your tongue?

How do I even describe how this one comes to fruition.  The pig’s juices burst forth from the meat to envelop it in a bubble of sorts as it comes alive on the grill rack.  The flames lick this sheen up into a thousand tiny bubbles sizzling all over the place.  As they evaporate, a charred outer surface light and airy is left in their wake.  Hungry yet?

Sidewalk Grill

The perfect nuoc cham dipping sauce was spicier than any I’ve ever had and added enough heat to turn the sweat spigot full on.   This is dining at its best.  As I greedily picked at the last few bites in the bowl, I got to thinking about how a few months ago I’d have never eaten here.  Eating my way through Vietnam has certainly crossed me into a delicious new frontier.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

2 Comments on “Bún Nem Nướng Grilled Pork Noodles – 155 of 365”

  1. Msanhle
    May 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    This is a nice review as always. Just a small thing, I think you mistake bún thịt nướng (grilled pork noodles) for bún nem nướng (which is noodles with spring rolls – Northern Vietnam styled). I remember when I was a kid, I also had such a mistake since the way of saying things is so different in the South and the North
    I like your blog. keep it up! 🙂

  2. May 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Definitely one of my favourites!

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