Food in Saigon Vietnam-Days 12 and 13

September 20, 2009

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Day 12

Following in Bourdain’s Footsteps

After a sobering hour at the War Remnants Museum, we head for lunch at a place listed in my notes; Bac Hai (25 Ng The Minh Khai St) famous for its Pho and featured by Anthony Bourdain on his show, No Reservations. It’s very good pho, and we’re happy to have some as we’ve been pho-deprived for a couple of days. This bowl of noodles is served with many more condiments and herbs, a different in style from those we had in Hanoi. Our Pho Tai Bap is 20,000 VND per bowl.

VNtrungOnce again, we are on the hunt to find (and try) ass-weasel coffee (also known as Ca Phe Chon). Lori has found the Trung Nguyen shop we had been looking for yesterday, and we go in for our special coffee. David and I order Ca Phe Sua Da and Lori gets …

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Food in Saigon Vietnam-Day 11

September 17, 2009

Day 11-Saigon

Cholon Market is the largest indoor market in the Chinatown area of Saigon. We went there with our friend Lori and some local young people she’d been put in contact with before we arrived. We thought this would be similar to our tour with the Hanoi Kids. We were wrong. They spoke very little English and seemed pretty uninterested in talking to us. After taking us way out of town to visit an interesting and very old pagoda, we went over to the Cholon market. The market itself held very little interest (for us) in the main section, but the food parts are always fascinating for me. We wanted to try some of the local food, but the girls we were with looked horrified at the prospect so off we went for lunch…



(more photos of this market at

Quan an Ngon

Not surprisingly, the place …

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Food in Saigon Vietnam-Day 10

September 16, 2009


Day 10-Saigon

Thanh Binh (140 Le Thanh Ton) is in a narrow storefront room,  opposite the market, brightly lit with fluorescent lights and filled with formica tables. But we’re not here for the decor, we’re here for the food. We order goi cuon (shrimp and pork summer rolls) for which they are known, bun bo xao, bun cha gio and cang cua which are crab claws in tamarind sauce. Most items are $1-$2 but the crab is 150,000 VND (about $8) and worth every penny. With a round of beer, dinner is 291,000 VND for three (about $16).

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VNgrillfish2 After dinner, we walk around the market building, observing the set up for the outside night vendors. On one side it’s all food vendors, cooking in outdoor “restaurants”, and wow, does everything look amazing. We agree that we’ll have to come back another night.



 From there, we walk around, a little …

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Food in Hoi An Vietnam, Days 6-9

August 26, 2009

Vietnam Trip, Hoi An,Days 6-9

Our time in Hoi An was very much a vacation-within-a-vacation. We spent the bulk of our time at the lovely Victoria Hoi An resort on the beach outside of town. Plus, it was ungodly hot and humid the entire time. This meant we ate a few of our meals at the resort rather than making the trek into town. Still, there are some places I’d like to share.

Market, Hoi An Town

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On our first day in town, we wander through the food market around 6pm, and while it’s starting to close down for the day, it’s also humming with locals making late purchases for their dinner. We get caught in a motorcycle traffic jam inside the market. Someone is making a purchase, from his bike, blocking all traffic, both pedestrian and moto. While I want to return on another day, we never do make …

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Food in Hue Vietnam-Day 5

August 8, 2009

After spending all morning touring the royal tombs in the countryside surrounding Hue, we return back to town overheated, dehydrated and ready for a late lunch. We ask at the front desk at our hotel for a recommendation. They give us a card for a place called La Carambole and we walk over there. What we discover is the backpacker street of Hue, and a restaurant with a multi-page, multi-lingual, multi-cuisine menu. Alarm bells go off in my head, but we’re hungry and sit down anyway. I ask for the local specialty, beef noodle soup, Bun Bo Hue. We are told they are out. We peruse the menu for a few more moments, debating the cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and spaghetti, look at each other, and get up and walk out of the restaurant.

Now I’m starving and we are perilously close to breaking Golden Rule #1. We start …

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Food in Hue Vietnam-Day 4

July 25, 2009

July 7, 2009

Hue is known for its Imperial cuisine as this was once the center of the Vietnamese royalty. It’s where the Imperial City/Citadel was, where the emperors lived and where they built Royal Tombs as massive tributes to themselves before they died. According to Reid on Travel, it’s said that of Vietnam’s 1700 dishes, 1400 may come from Hue. Emperors being finicky eaters, insisted on new dishes to try and their chef’s gave them many choices in the form of small bites, or, “Vietnamese tapas” if you will. We came here hoping to live like the emperors, to see, taste, and experience all Hue has to offer.

We flew from Hanoi to Hue late in the morning, but by the time we got settled into our hotel it was well past lunch time. We set out in the bright hot humid heat, walking toward one of the …

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