When The Astronomer and I are noodled out, we cross the bridge to Binh Thanh District for lunch. Binh Thanh reminds us a lot of our home base in District 4, namely, helmets are totally optional and street food is abundant. Even though helmets are mandatory by law these days, as soon as motorbikes reach the halfway point on the bridge, everyone takes them off because there aren’t any traffic cops around. It always cracks us up how safety takes a backseat to fashion and comfort.
The banh xeo in Binh Thanh were larger and flimsier than the Da Nang-style ones that I prefer. But at 3,500 a go, we weren’t complaining. The Astronomer hates the large mustard leaves that are traditionally eaten with banh xeo and prefers romaine lettuce. I can go either way.
We also got an order or goi cuon. I firmly believe that hoisin sauce can either make or break this dish. This version was really watery, so it broke the dish (so to speak).
Our final course was banh bo nuong (5,000 VND)—a rice cake of sorts made on a waffle iron type device so that the sugar in the batter is caramelized and the texture is invitingly chewy. The Astronomer ate steamed banh bo stuffed inside a savory doughnut a few weeks back.
A lovely mini-food tour, but the lunch lady’s still where it’s at!