You might be wondering how I could write a
whole entry on food. Well, the fact is that I love good food and
Vietnam has plenty of it. The food is so cheap that we ate out
for practically every meal and we still didn’t manage to
try everything that we wanted.
leaf-wrapped spring rolls
at Bo Tung Xeo (a restaurant near our hotel)
Some meals actually became quite an adventure.
Many restaurants don’t have English menus, so we’d
make use of the little Vietnamese we learned to guess at entrees.
We often guessed wrong. For example, one day we had lunch at a
restaurant across the city in Hanoi that is famous for its Hue
style fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce (one of Grace’s
favorite). When we got there we ordered what we thought were the
spring rolls, but what we got was what seemed to be a double order
of fried mushroom dough balls and a bean sprout omelet –
no peanut sauce (or spring rolls) in sight. Fortunately, it was
delicious. As a side note, while we ate our accidental order,
we witnessed a dispute between restaurant owners and a person
that we can only assume was a disgruntled customer. It got a bit
ugly - LOTS of yelling and screaming and then a bit of pushing.
Eventually, fried rice was thrown and it was over.
all this for
$2 (drinks included, too) - and more importantly, it was
Not only is most of the food we tried delicious,
it is all cheap. We ate at a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City called
Nam Giao in a small alley where we each had 2 entrees, a small
appetizer, a fresh fruit shake and a dessert drink for USD $2
total! And… we lived to write about it. We also elected
to occasionally eat a take home meal of steamy, hot savory buns
from a moving street vender located generally around the corner
from where we were staying. For those of you familiar with Dim
Sum, these were similar to the white steamed buns filled with
barbecue pork, but filled with veggies and mushrooms or chicken
instead. Yum! And at just $.25 each (local price was even lower)
we gorged ourselves on these. Other culinary delights include
Pho (soup noodles, sometimes for breakfast, but good any time),
Bun Cha (a dry noodle salad with grilled pork – another
of Grace’s favorites), and flaming grilled beef. And for
dessert, we’ve been eating ice cream in exotic flavors like
Lichee and Ginger. Now all we have to do is walk another 20 miles
to burn it all off.