What the heck is going on with the weather? Overcast for this time of the year is semi-normal, though it usually doesn't get that way until the end of April. But what's with the morning drizzle? It's not "cold" per se, but the breezes kind of chilly.....at least to my wimpy San Diego bones.
The Missus was craving some Banh Nam and I some Bun Bo Hue, so we headed on over to Mien Trung, which was doing pretty good business on this Sunday morning. Seems we weren't the only ones craving some soup.
We've really come to enjoy Mien Trung over the years, it's been a good seven years since we first visited. There are some inconsistencies we've noticed over the years. Sometimes the Bun Bo Hue will be too MSG heavy, at times too spicy, but for some reason, the place never fails to satisfy.
I gotta say, by my reckoning, some of the dishes have improved. Specifically the Hen Xuc Banh Trang, a chopped spicy clam dish that has evolved from somewhat fishy and gritty, to a spicy Cinderella of sorts.
This dish has definitely improved over the years. Served with Banh Trang Me, sesame crackers that have been slightly toasted this is delish, salty-spicy-pungent-savory. It doesn't look like much, but there quite a bit of in the little bowl. I especially enjoy taking the left-overs home and having it over rice.
For some reason, the Missus has been craving Banh Nam.
Ever since we visited Ngu Binh back in February (I know, I'm really late with that post), She's been asking for this every other week or so.
This one is a bit on thicker side and is more tender and less elastic than most versions. The Missus loves the light smokey flavor that banana leaves impart. It's also a plus that Mien Trung doesn't water down their Nuoc Mam.
The only complaint the Missus had about the Bun Rieu is that Mien Trung changed their noodles maybe a year or two ago. It's now ultra-thin noodles, not the thin rice noodle that is standard for Bun Rieu. Not sure why.....
And of course, my Bun Bo Hue. Didn't get the Dac Biet this time, we had the other stuff.
It's always fun watching folks who enjoy spicy food have the bun bo hue here for the first time. Recently, my co-worker YZ joined me for lunch at Mien Trung. She mentioned that the Bun Bo Hue (Dac Biet) was too large, but proceeded to finish everything off.....down to sucking out the marrow from the pig's feet! Now here's someone who can eat with me anytime!
Mien Trung Restaurant
7530 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA 92111