Some days The Astronomer and I have a clear idea what we want for lunch. And other days, we sorta wander around knowing that we’ll eventually stumble upon something awesome. Yesterday was one of those “let’s see what we find” kind of days.
Appetizer: Goi Tom Thit (6,000 VND)
As we meandered down the 160 block of Ly Chinh Thang Street in District 3, a vendor selling goi caught my eye. I usually have to head to snack shacks for goi because very few street food vendors sell it in town. I ordered a plate for myself and one for The Astronomer and we sat down on little red stools in the shade to wait for our food. The goi consisted of shredded green papaya topped with fried shallots, pickled shallots, chopped basil, a cooked shrimp, toasted peanuts, sliced pig’s ears and nuoc cham. The chewy cartilage coupled with the nuoc cham drenched papaya was a mild, yet refreshing combination. If you’ve never tried pig’s ears, what are you waiting for?
Intermezzo: Khoai Lan Chien (4,000 VND)
As we finished up our salads, a woman selling deep fried goodies rolled her cart our way. The Astronomer ordered a small bundle of lightly battered sweet potato fries to cleanse our palettes. The fries came fresh out of the hot oil and were beautifully crisp and golden. A little salt would have set off the potato’s sweetness nicely.
Entree: Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (10,000 VND)
For our third course, we walked five steps to a nearby vendor dishing up bun thit nuong cha goi. She generously loaded up our bowls with a bundle of fresh vermicelli noodles, grilled meat, egg rolls, basil, romaine lettuce, fried shallots and the ever-present nuoc cham sauce. Even though the noodles slightly adhered to one another, it was a solid bowl of bun.
For dessert we headed back to Tu Xuong Street to visit our favorite che dau hu vendor.
Oh, life is so delicious.