Bánh Canh Cua Ốc Crab and Snail Noodle Soup – 349 of 365

Bánh Canh Cua Ốc

How could anyone not want to eat here?  A basic black and white tattered piece of paper straight off a printer advertising what’s on offer…a woman crammed in between a boiling cauldron and her food preparation table…squat stools lining the sidewalk between the muddy street and a rundown concrete building…a steady flow of people who aren’t keeling over with imminent gastro-intestinal distress.

Yes, these are the dining omens aligning for a good meal to come, usually that is.  Luckily tonight’s dinner proved true these rules of thumb.  I maneuvered my six foot tall frame down onto one of the tiny squat schools and immediately crowded out the tiny, tiny woman behind me.  I heard her mutter, “ooooooaaaaaaahhhh” as she scooted over some with the utmost in fanfare.  Mama behind the cauldron barked out some orders and a young kid immediately came over to where we were sitting to wipe down the tabletop.  I can’t say the dull metal became any cleaner for I am sure that nasty rag left behind a smear of invisible e. coli merely replacing the debris.

Sidewalk Dining

Now I have sampled snail soup.  I’ve even tried a few bowls of crab soup.  But never before have I had the two of them assembled together in one piping hot bowl of goodness.  The white rice vermicelli tasted much like spaghetti and the tomato like broth even had a faint hint of Ragu sauce from back home.  Strange indeed, but I dove a bit deeper into the bowl nonetheless.

A piece of that grey pork paste sausage steamed to its rubbery perfection floated on top of the bowl along with several chunks of congealed blood.  The sweet spicy pork was great; the blood cubes I gave a wide berth.  The tiny bits of crab added that necessary ocean flavor while the chewy snail chunklets had a lemongrass spicy taste.

About all that was left in my bowl were a few stray noodles forming a nice nest for the blood I just had to leave behind.  The guy who had wiped down the table looked so disappointed such delicacies failed to rise to any sort of edibility in my particular world.  I told him it was all perfect, and he seemed quite pleased his sidewalk eatery impressed some stray westerners running loose in the neighborhood.

This no name joint deep in Binh Thanh District near 65 Ngo That Tho Street was everything local I look for on this food journey.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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