Foodie Friday – We So Miss Vietnam

Vietnam is a food lovers paradise.  There’s no need for fancy restaurants, although there are plenty of them. Sidewalks are packed with people eating at small tables on chairs suitable for 4 year olds, slurping down noodley concoctions that you may or may not like. Beef broth and vermicelli noodles, yes!  Pork heart and blood broth with noodles, no thank you. The system of picking the fullest place may not work here since people have many interesting palates. Thanks to Shane and Arielle we had some recommendations already, but exploring new foods is our favorite hobby so we were thrilled to venture out for more.

Balewell

Hoi An gave us an introduction to one meal restaurants.  Balewell has been open for 22 years and has served the same exact 4 item menu, that is printed on their napkins, each and every day.  You actually don’t order, you sit and are served each item. We had a lesson in proper eating techniques by the sister of the owner who treated Amando like her son, even feeding him.  Rice paper, herbs/lettuce/cucumber, chicken or pork off the stick, shredded carrot and radish, finish with spicy peanut sauce.  Repeat all of that but add an omelet made with bean sprouts and you’ve now got what sort of resembles a taco. But wait, there’s more!

Foodie Friday – Vietnam, Where Soup Flows Like Wine

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Everywhere you look people are eating soup…pho of course being the popular choice.  But all kinds of soup, noodles, pasta, chicken feet, beef, pork rinds, vegetables, you name it, and no matter the weather, soup is being mowed down.  So today we took a field trip to the “lunch lady”.  We found her on a gastronomy blog and Anthony Bourdain has also paid her a visit.  It took us to a different part of the city off our little map, across a very busy street, and down an alley to the base of an apartment complex.  She makes a different soup every day and today we were served the following (thank you gastronomy blog): “Thanh’s bun bo Hue on Fridays is a huge draw. The broth has a deep lemongrass flavour and just a hint of spiciness, and there’s always a generous amount of tender meat. Thanh avoids gristly meat by adding a whole pineapple to the broth, which tenderizes the meat and imparts a bit of sweetness to the broth.”