This is arguably one of my favorite things to eat in the world – Pho Bo – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. My love affair with it began in college and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s something about slurping down a spoonful of rich, savory beef broth, paired with flat, soft rice noodles, and then add a mouthful of fragrant herbs like basil, spring onions, bean sprouts, mint, and cilantro to the mix. Oh! and who can forget the squeezed lime as the finishing touch. It’s heavenly. Even though I’ve been told that Danang is not a town famous for its pho but one MUST venture out and try how the locals like their pho when in Vietnam, right?
越南牛肉河粉可以算是我最喜歡吃的麵食之一。如果臨死之前，有人問我說要吃台灣牛肉麵還是吃越南河粉？ 基於愛國的精神，我可能被迫選擇牛肉麵，但是都要死了，應該可以不用管愛不愛國，所以我會選越南河粉。 去過峴港的識途老馬說，峴港的越南河粉比起其它地區而言沒有那麼出色，但是已經到了越南，還是要出去探險，嚐嚐看當地人喜歡的味道，跟我們在香港或是台灣吃到的有什麼不一樣 Our friend Jimmy was the unofficial tour guide of the trip and we basically just followed whatever he had planned for us. The sick 12kg toddler strapped to me 12 hours of the day was not going to dampen my spirit. I told Jimmy that we MUST to go out and taste authentic Pho. So one afternoon, we were out, hunting for the best Pho that Danang has to offer. I’m not sure where Jimmy got his recommendations but when the first shop on his list was not opened, this is where we went next.
我們復活節旅遊團的隊長Jimmy 被迫帶團，因為他跟太太已經去了峴港三次，每次有什麼疑難雜症，我們都不停的whatsapp問他。雖然整個旅程，妹妹就像隻無尾熊一樣黏在我身上，我拜託Jimmy 一定要帶我去外面吃吃當地道地的河粉。 在我們離開前的午餐，我的願望終於實現，我們浩浩蕩蕩，大人小孩坐滿兩輛休旅車，任務只有一個，就是吃河粉！ 我也不大確定Jimmy 是哪裡問到這些店的，但是當他名單上的第一家店沒開，我們就來到了看似不起眼的小吃店。
One of the things about eating at tourist traps is that they are relatively clean and presentable to foreigners. So when we pulled up, I had some reservations about the red buckets underneath each table. What are they for? Putting bowls and plates when you’re done? Throwing away trash? I’m not sure but I was hungry and didn’t care. When the first bowl of Pho Bo was served, I was giddy.
Not bad right? The beef was the perfect pink color and really tender. The beef balls were surprisingly fresh and good. The broth is probably not as rich as I expect but I appreciate a lighter touch once in a while. I didn’t like that the bean sprouts were cooked when served, I liked mine raw, but this is $3 US dollars a bowl who cares?
It was good enough to chow down a second bowl. 每人都幾乎都再來一碗
Another highlight of our Danang trip is trekking down and finding this local shop, famous for their “Banh Mi”, the Vietnamese Sandwiches. This is a shop that Anthony Bourdain visited when he was in Danang. Since the episode aired, the shop has moved into a bigger store with sit down space. I love these sandwiches too but the circumstances that I was under, i.e, screaming and crying toddler chained to me, prevented me from really enjoying the sandwich. Everyone else was raving about this so let’s see what are they put in them.
另外一個舉世聞名的越南小吃是越式三明治。受到法國影響，越式三明治除了適用清脆的法式麵包做成，裡面夾了豬肉，美乃滋，鵝肝醬，小黃瓜，香菜和青蔥等等材料。在峴港這家小店，因為美國知名廚師跟節目主持人Anthony Bourdain 在節目上介紹過而大夯，不僅有很多觀光客，也有很多當地的人騎摩托車來買。店面從之前的小小一攤，搬到了現在這個有座位的地方。我們去的那天，生意超好的，前面做三明治的小姐們手根本沒停過。來看看裡面到底放了些什麼？
Looks simple but there’s so much flavor into that one bite which all implodes in your mouth. It’s different from what I’ve had before in Vietnam. There’s a homemade sauce that gives the whole sandwich a spicy kick which elevates it to a different level. My take away from it was the french baguette which was so fresh and crunchy.
We also went to the restaurants that people would refer to as the “tourist traps”. This one in particular had good reviews on trip advisors but what we ate was nothing to write home about. I ordered my favorite Vietnamese Rolls but I think I can make one better than this. However, I did enjoy their Vietnamese Ice Coffee a whole lot.
It was a short trip but I managed to check off all the food that I wanted to eat. A big thank you to our buddy Jimmy for being the perfect Foodie Tour Guide!