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« Hanoi: We arrive, and Highway 4 | Main | Hanoi: Van Phuc and Le Mat Part 1 »

Monday, 14 April 2008



now that is cheap eats! :)


I think if I was on this trip, I'd come back 10 lbs heavier just from sampling all the food.


A buck for a veggie mushy pho? That ain't no bargain for Vietnam prices!

Can't wait for the Bun Rieu! That's what you're in the north for!


Hi Kirk--just caught up with your trip reports. Your observations of slice-of-life stuff are as fascinating as the food reportage. And thanks for the info about banh, and about how northern-style pho differs so drastically from the pho we see here in the US (although northern pho style might help explain some super-wimpy pho broths I've tasted recently... :-D )


Hmm. Looks like the banh gio, is kind of like a Vietnamese Tamale..I don't want to over simplify things, but looks like the tamale I had at El Salavador restaurant. Your assesment? The pho difference between North vs south, would you say has alot to do with the presentaion (platter of aromatic herbs, sprouts)on the side? I can't believe its true: seems like the restaurants all have these plastic "kid's table seats" are you suprised this does not carry over to Vietnamese restaurants in USA? (or have you seen it here?)I think that would be pretty neat for authenticity to sit like this. Ha ha!


One more question: do you know how when you live someplace, you can't really "smell it" because its always there, but if you go someplace new- theres a smell. What were you smelling here? (hard to describe a smell, I know) but was it like charcoal burning, the smell of..lemongrass in the air? smog/exaust? damp humidity?


Wow! Yum! I can't wait to try banh gio. What a bargain price too. Thanks for putting that link for that author in. That was an interesting article.


Hi Kat - Relatively speaking, yes it is!

Hi Carol - LOL! With all the moving around we did....just like Peru, I actually lost a few pounds.

Hi Freddy - Yes, Bun Rieu, but don't forget Cha Ca, Bun Cha, and Buon Cuon! So many choices, so little time.....

Hi Mizducky - This was like no other Pho I'd ever had.....and Northerners love their Pho this way.

Hi Chris - The Pho up North is not as rich, lower in oil, without the hints of anise-cinnamon-clove. It is very light. The noodles are wider, and the texture closer to "Bun" than the Pho I'm used too. I guess for comparison purposes, Vietnamese Tamale would be an apt description, this one is made with rice flour, and the meat is minced, not shredded, in spite of looks it is a totally different flavor profile. It is more like a steamed rice cake, though. The kiddie chairs are for practicality purposes....once things sold out you stack everything and are gone! Remember, very few cars, very little space, almost no storage. The smell is a combination of exhaust fumes, dust, with sprinkling of Asian herbs....

Hi Rachel - I'm glad you enjoyed the article...I thought it was pretty informative.


Banh Gio is my favorite it's so simple and yet very enjoyable especially with a little Maggi its unbelievable. The portion you guys were served looked very big I guess the cropping is the cause for it but everyone I've spoke too says the portion is very small. What's your take?


Hey Billy - The amount of filling is on the smallish side, but I think that's to be expected in VN. Each day the Missus and I shared one of these each morning, and I usually had something else. One entire Banh Gio would have been enough for breakfast, IMO. Though I understand that breakfast usually is the largest meal in VN.


I'd like to see Rachel Ray do "Forty Cents a Day" in VN. Banh Gio, Yum-O!


Keep it up Kirk.....makes me want to visit the motherland even more.


Hi Trent - LOL! You crack me up....she could easily do $2 a day, and it wouldn't be a problem, 'cause she stiffs on tips anyway.....

Hi Billy - What about the Fatherland? ;o)


Oh yeah the father too...keep it coming, please. Can't wait to check out the next episode.

cuisine bonne femme

I'm loving your travelogue. Vietnam was my "France". Totally life changing the times I've been there. It's funny though, I really dug Hanoi way more than I thought I would. Once I got into the groove of it and met a terrific Cyclo driver who basically became my guide (and friend). Went to a ton of off the beaten tourist path places due to him. Your pictures and descriptions really make me miss it. (and the food). Thanks for sharing!


Hi CBF - Hanoi sure had its own beat and rhythm, and folks are a bit cautious, but very nice when you get to know them.

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