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154 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Thanks so much for the kind words. We are working on some additions to the menu (top secret of course) but, will probably be out in June/July. Next time you are in town, e-mail me and let me know, I’d like to treat you to a taste plate and get your opinion on them. Thanks again for dining with us, we appreciate your business, and your endorsement.

    Sam Burn
    Commissioner of Culture
    Jim ‘N Nicks

  2. Hola!

    Congratulations on your website..I love it.. I am a Mexican living in Germany and restaurants here (due to the lack of diversity) are most of the time a real torture… I love reading your reviews on restaurants and remember the good old times when I lived in New York…

    Keep up the great work!


  3. Hi.
    I would like to ask permission to be listed or how we can be interactive with our new company, Philadelphia Cheesecake at Darlings Cafe.
    We would appreciate any plugs that anyone would be willing to give to us as mother’s day is approaching. We have won best of Philly, and Best Dessert/Bakery from AOL

    on 21st and the Parkway, behind Franklin Institute we are the closest cafe to the start/finish for here in Philadelphia

  4. Hey there!
    Wow! I must say, you have a cool looking website! And on top of that it is about my all time favorite topic, food and dinning! Thanks to your website I now have a clue to where I want to dine next! Also, props onto your yummy looking pictures of these various unique food! =]

  5. I’m constantly referred to this site by the amazing pictures featured on tastespotting; it wasn’t long before I began reading the stories that accompanied them! I can’t say which I enjoy more now: the mouth-watering images or the words that describe them. Keep up the lovely work, your blog never fails to fuel my imagination for a delightfully good eat 🙂

    – Evie

  6. Cathy, Vernon –
    I came across your blog tonight and enjoyed it. Funny thing – I was born in Boston, my wife was born in La Mesa, we met at UCSD, and we live just outside Philly. Small world.

    We still have Roberto’s withdrawals after being away for a while (last visit was 2002). We usually go to Kennett Square (Taqueria Moroleon) to satisfy our Mexican fix, but small places keep opening up around Philly, so there’s hope.

    Keep up the entertaining posts!

  7. Hi Cathy!

    My name is Grace and I’ll be a grad student at UPenn this fall. I’m
    at home (SoCal) right now, but I’ll be moving into my dorm on the
    28th. I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now (I first saw it
    after going on, then clicking on the
    various blogrings, and yours was at the very top since you had just
    updated). At first I just really liked reading what you wrote and
    looking at all the yummy pictures you took, but then I realized that a
    lot of the places you were eating at happened to be in or near Philly,
    and some of the street names sounded like they were actually right by
    UPenn! I was so excited when it dawned on me that I would actually
    get to visit some of the places you wrote about!

    Other than the one time I went to UPenn for a few hours to attend my
    grad school interview, I’ve never been to Philly before, so I was
    wondering if you could help me out with something! I know that you
    are in Vietnam right now and are probably really busy, but if you get
    the chance, could you please tell me what restaurants you would
    recommend for an anniversary dinner? My boyfriend will be coming to
    visit me in two weeks for our second anniversary, and we wanted to go
    eat somewhere nice that isn’t too far from campus, but we have no idea
    where to go!

    If you have a few minutes, could you please help me out with some
    suggestions for restaurants we could go to? I would greatly
    appreciate your advice!


  8. I’m from Montreal and will be in Philly soon; I gotta tell ya I was dreading crossing the 49th parallel for gastronomical reasons, but your reviews and the pics on this website have sown some hope and really boosted my moral! Thanks for this great blog!

  9. I just wanted to say that I love your blog and thanks for blogging frequently and saving us folks on this other side of the world (I’m in Virginia) from boredom throughout the typical workday. It’s really nice bc you both are great writers/food critics and you’re able to convey your feelings and thoughts so well. I def look forward to reading whatever it is you have to say each time.

    I’m returning to VN for a month-long vacation (to celebrate Tet especially) from Jan 21-Feb 21 so i’m incredibly excited. I’ve been doing research on places to go and places to eat of course 😛 That is why I really really appreciate yours and the Astronomer’s blog. Keep up the fantastic work guys!! 🙂



  10. Hi there,

    I am about to go to Vietnam on my own, I really dislike big tours how many people were with you on your Mekong boat trip ? Sounds like a lot of other tour companies charge a lot like $80… you get what you pay for…..can you ask to customize the trip..

    Any recommendations, if I walk around district 1 will I get swarmed by tour operators……..

    I don’t want to book with the hotel as I know they over charge,


  11. Hello Sandra,

    I think there were about 30 people on the Mekong trip, which sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t bad at all. The delta is really mellow and people behave accordingly. No children were on the trip. The $18 trip was a steal, but you can coordinate your own tour as well. I saw a few boats with smaller groups, but they seemed to be going everywhere our group was headed. So… if you do plan your own trip, make sure to specify that you want to go off the beaten path.

    All of the tour operators are in the “backpacker quarter” (Pham Ngu Lao Street). You will NOT be swarmed in District 1. You may be swarmed at the airport.

    Good luck,

  12. Hi,
    I live in Nicosia. Searching for an interesting word for “bread-like”, I came across your blog because I wanted to check out the writing on the Metropolitan Bakery’s site (Philadelphia).

    I have to save you from sounding ignorant about the bakery. You really missed out.

    Try the French Berry Roll. Try their Miche (especially if you can deal with its size for a casual dinner party). Try their millet muffins. I don’t know who told you that the chocolate cherry bread would be a “signature” item, but you should know better than to test the merits of a bakery based on one item, especially one so specific.

    just a little helping hand from the Eastern Med –

  13. Hello and bravo for your blog I discovered today. I’m french and I foundit exciting and well done.

    Cooking is one of my passions. I have a simple and personal site :

    If you agree, I could insert a link to your blog.

    Guy Madesclaire

  14. Astronomer/Gastronomer: this is so cool. My home street starting to make
    it on the ‘net!

    Of course, it should be expected, as HCMC keeps expanding.

    I used to live in HCMC, from 1999 to 2000, and I lived at 209/7 To^n
    Tha^’t Thuye^’t, in P3, Q4 of HCMC. I just saw your blog about Che`
    Nha~n. I am curious: do you remember near which intersection the lady
    sold you this?


    Françoys Crépeau

  15. Hey there!

    I stumbled onto your blog this morning, and haven’t been able to stop reading, scroling, gawking and drooling!!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it!!!

    My name is Tram (Huong Tram) and I was born n lived in Saigon til I was 13. I’m currently living in Montreal, Cananda and I visit Vietnam when I can, and the last time I was there was in 2005. I’m supposed to go again this year!!!

    Ok, enough about me, I’m rambling… sorry!!! I just wanted to say that I love reading your blogs, especially the ones about Vietnam (P.S: my favorite place that I have to go visit everytime I’m there is Phu Quoc!!!) I really enjoy it, as all the pics n articles bring me very fond memories of Vietnam, being with friends and family there and eating awesome food.

    Again, thanx for creating such a great website, it is in my favorites!!!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! (Im cooking up a storm this Saturday to feast with my friends to celebrate)

  16. omg! i’m so excited to find your blog!! in 2005 my friend karen and i spent 3 weeks in saigon, the mekong and phu quoc. we are meeting in saigon again in may (i’m from Los Angeles, she’s from Boulder, CO)… this time her husband will join us for 5 days on phu quoc. the cool thing about your blog is it’s about FOOD! and karen is not only a major foodie, she also works for the Culinary Institute of the Rockies… so last time we were in vietnam we were taking loads of photos of food and trying to figure out how to make it.

    anyway, i just wanted to say thanks! for such a fabo blog! i’ll be reading it regularly!

  17. I am interested in reprinting your ube image from

    Vegetation Profile: Khoai Mỡ
    Published December 11, 2007 Phu Quoc , Vegetation Profile.

    if I could have your permission to reprint some of your images. I am writing a special book for my Filipino Father in Law called, Beyond Rice-Memoirs of an American Daughter in Law in a Filipino Father’s Kitchen. This is the working Title. Basically it is about cooking with my Father in Law, my travels and food discoveries and stories of Filipino food, and general anecdotes revolving around food in our lives. If I could have permission to use some of your images that would be great. You should know that I am self publishing the book and as of know have no plans on distribution, I would be happy to give your credit in the book and send you and e-book. If your interested I would love to have higher resolution copies if possible.

    thanks so much

  18. Hi there, I LOVE your blog and it is my favorite food blog that I read. I love Vietnamese food and you have the most down-to-earth approach to your writing and the stuff you like reminds me a lot of myself – especially found the pictures of your airline food great (I do it too). I hope to visit Vietnam one day and use some of your eating recommendations!

    You inspired me to create my own blog which I launched today. Visit me at



  19. Hey Gastronomer & Astronomer
    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. Great pictures, great details, great food! I am in awe of all the hard work and effort that you put into your blog. Please don’t get tired of posting stuff.
    Thank you so much for blogging

  20. I am so glad I found this website.. it’s very insightful!! Do you guys go around looking for Vietnamese food??

  21. Hello Gastronomer and Astronomer,

    I have frequented this blog for quite a while now. I was just wondering what your names in Vietnamese would be. According to, Astronomer is “Nhà thiên văn.” There isn’t a direct translation for Gastronomer so I come up with one, “Nhà thường ăn” which is something like “a person who eats often.” Ha Ha Ha!
    I am Viet and I am easily amused. Keep up the good work. Cute blog!

  22. Hi,

    I love the blog, I love the food you write about.
    Hope to get a chance to eat at some of the places you write about.

    I think I can spend all my time eating in Vietnam,


  23. Awesome website. I haven’t been to VN since 2001. I’m definitely going to make an effort to go to the places you guys have posted. You wouldn’t be around in VN January 2009, would you? I need a foodie tour guide! lol.

  24. Hi,

    I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and came across your blog when I searched for Dried Persimmon.

    In our Nacha Coffee Estate we have grafted native persimmon trees with new varieties, among others Fuyu Type. August is our persimmon harvest time and we try learn diffrent ways to preserve them without additives and SO2.

    I enjoy to read your food articles and anytime you are in Thailand please come to taste our fresh roasted coffee. Our roasting den is located near Chiang Mai Airport.

    SCAA 2007 Asia’s Best Coffee.

    Wimonlack Blom-Boonvises

  25. Dear Cathy,

    Thank you for your website. I was searching for Thit Kho, the most amazing thing ever, after seeing one of the cooks on Mark McEwan’s THE HEAT (foodnetwork) try to make it (for a non-VN purpose). They used the word confit, which after describing the method, sounded suspiciously like thit kho. So I searched the word confit and found out that its a French way of preserving meat and that made complete sense, so much of VN cooking is influenced by French colonialism.

    I love food and art, have been to art school and have thought about chef school (I do love to cook) but I prefer to eat! It’s amazing how beautiful food is. I love the pictures of the cherimoyas you have on the site. They taste awful in North America. When I had them in VN, I swear, I was so happy I almost cried they tasted so good. And the pomelos in VN…sigh.

    I am curious how one becomes a food writer and/or critic? Is the story about how you started doing this on your site somewhere and I have missed it? Thanks for sharing your work with us, though it seems like it couldn’t be work – so much pleasure! Way to go!

    Best regards,

  26. Hey Vernon, keep bumping into your blog with my google searches for ben van don & Com Tam Moc! You must have returned to the US now.
    I’ll need to read your food guides for some good suggestions cheers

  27. Hi there,

    Amazing blog.
    Great pictures…. here in San Francisco, I am lusting at the soft shell crabs and sandwiches as we speak.

    for me, I write about the business behind the food.
    check us out as well…

    btw, what do you shoot with?
    and write more.



  28. Hi Ray – If I remember correctly, the Ferry Building has a vendor or two that serves up soft shell crab sandwiches. I love that place… I shoot with a Cannon Powershot A540.

  29. Guys, seeing ur faces in this technicolour dreamcoat is great 🙂 CD u r soooooo generous with your posts and so dedicated too 🙂

    I will follow in your footsteps in hcmc though I won’t be posting food stuff on my blog I think 🙂

    take care!

  30. Hey Cathy & Vernon,

    Wow…. foods and photos here look so great!
    I would like to see your reviews and some Korean foods too!
    Hope a chance to go out dinner together comes soon.
    Take care!


  31. Keep up the good work! I like how it sends me updates about my country in Vietnam, and the odd food I”m missing out on.

    Can I ask if you’re a permanent resident in Vietnam, or you’re they’re on business?

  32. Hi Cathy & Vernon,

    How are you both? How does it feel to be home? Do you miss VN already?

    We’re all doing very well. My parents are now in SG and will come back home at the end of next month. From all accounts, they are enjoying themselves exceedingly well 🙂

    Please respond to [email protected] if you prefer to keep your response private.

    Take care and all the best!
    Karen – Melbourne

  33. Thanks for the gastronomic postings. We moved to Madison, Wisconsin from Houston, Texas 5 years ago. The photos and descriptions of the various bun, cha gio and banh mi have got me drooling and dreaming…or vice versa….thank you!

  34. Hi guys, I’ve pretty much read all the Vietnamese food articles and think they are awesome. The photos also make the experience even better. I’m in Australia and travel back to VN regularly to visit family. It’s fantastic to see that others share my enthusiasm for the cuisine there.

    I went to the USA for the first time last month and have to say that Peter Luger is the best Steak house ever. I only went there after having read your article, so thanks.

    Look forward to more VN food articles.

  35. Hi!

    Thanks for visiting my blog, it got me quite excited since I just recently started. I took a gander at your blog and I LOVE it and can’t wait to explore!!!

  36. Hello!

    I wanted to let you both know that I love your blog. I grew up a stones throw away in La Canada, and worked at JPL in the Summers of 2006 and 2007- a ton of my friend’s parents work with Caltech or JPL.

    However, I currently attend Grinnell College in Iowa, where my exposure to that wonderful socal food culture has dimmed. Your blog lets me viacriously live in SoCal, so thanks!

    If you are interested, I have started my own blog chronicling Iowa’s (modest) food destinations:

    Keep up the great work-


  37. Hello Miss Gastronomer,

    I enjoyed reading your blogs on food from various places around the world especially in Vietnam. I stumbled upon your website one night while searching places to visit in Hong Kong, my wife and I will make a quick trip (3 days) there next month. I’m looking at your blogs trying to get some tips for Hong Kong but if you do remember anything, please let us know. We will concentrate on eating and doing little shopping.

    I sometime make a quick trip to Vietnam to eat and shop, I wish I had your list of places on my last trip. We currently live in Manila right now, when I saw your blogs about the food here, I thought you were too nice in your writing, we struggle so hard to find a decent place to eat here in Manila. Sometime I don’t know if the food here is Asian, Western or Spanish, or may be just a mixture of all in one. After living here for 18 months, we finally found a nice Dim Sum restaurant in Green Hills, north of Manila. The food was much higher in quality and closer to Cantonese, there seems to be tons of cheap low end fake Filipino Dim Sum.

    We have lived in Jakarta Indonesia for 3 and half year, and highly recommend you try visiting that city on your next trip. It’s full of food from different region of Indonesia. They have influences from Singapore, Malaysia and Chinese. They have many specialty restaurants that serve a favorite friend rice, curry noodles soup, Hainan Chicken, Padang food, etc.

    Pat & Dani

  38. Hi! I was just wondering if I could get permission to use a photo of the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory pretzels for an editorial spread for a student project, which will be submitted into a contest. I want to credit the artist, so please get back to me! =) Thank you so much & your site is great.

  39. Gastronomer: Love the website. I used to go to UCLA and only wish I had known about your website then! Definitely some serious food porn on your website. Awesome.

  40. Hey I just happened upon your website. What a great production and wonderful photos and dining info. Heading to Vietnam in 44 days (YEAH!) and looking forward to trying many of your suggestions thru out my travels..thanks again for sharing
    Mark Shay
    Bar Americain

  41. Love this website. Wish there were more Vietnamese recipes! would be great if there’s some way to account for nutritional content too! I booked marked it!

    Also good for when ever we travel too!

  42. Love what you are doing. makes me homesick. if you are ever in Istanbul please check our site its a non-commercial blog, simply for the love of grub. we’d be happy to give you a link if you might consider reciprocating. any interest?

  43. Hi Cathy and Vernon!

    Any chance you could put me on your blogroll? You’ve been on mine since I started 🙂

    meemalee x

  44. I am looking for a recipe for a dessert that is popular at Vietnamese New Year. It is a hard cake made of Flour, Sugar and Water with a coating of Sesame Seeds on top. We slice it and coat it with flour or cornstarch and fry it. It becomes very sticky and delicious with a taste similar to toasted marshmallows. Some Filipinos call it Tikoy, but the label says Bahn To.

  45. The next time you are in the mood for Middle-Easter in Philly you have to check out the Sahara Grill near 13th & Walnut. Just a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a jeans and tee atmosphere. We found it by accident on our last trip there and it was amazing.

  46. Hi,

    I’m Vietnamese and I must say that I love your blog, especially the way you keep our Vietnamese vocabulary intact. I think we should keep in touch 😀 blog on!


  47. Hi,

    Glad to find your website. I like cooking. In Hong Kong, I can’t find any good cha lua, vietnamese sausage. Last month, I visited HCMC and bought a lot of cha lua. We finished them all shortly. I want to learn how to do it and make a real taste of cha lua. Can you tell me how? Many thanks.

    Cheers, Peggy

  48. I’m the official foodie blogger for the montreal tourist board. I want to get in touch with the Gastronomer to talk about cross-promotions. We have original & exclusive content, scoops about local food and restaurant stories, and we’d love to share them with you. Please get in touch! Katerine Rollet ([email protected])

  49. Hi,

    I’m in Saigon for a couple of days working on a travel piece for the Guardian in the UK.

    We saw the No Reservations with the Lunch Lady and just had lunch in the square.

    We just came back to google her and discovered your excellent blog.
    It’s fantastic, I’m really impressed with the top ten, we’re going to try to work through as much of it as possible before we leave at 6pm tomorrow.

    Just wondering if I can ask you a quick question.

    Do you have any recommendations for bars?

    All the ones in the Luxe and Lonely Planet are terribly stiff hotel bars, we went to one pretty decent wine bar last night called Cepage, but other than that we’ve drawn a blank.

    If you’ve got any advice please let me know.

    All the best and congratulations again on the blog, it’s really good.


  50. Wow, what an absolutely great site you’ve made! My daughter Tina just tipped Tuyet (nhà tôi) and me off to it. My only disappointment is that Bánh Mì Hấp didn’t make the Saigon top ten.

    Cathy, I’m sending this on impulse, even before I read the rest of your sections, to pop a question. I’m the editor of VietnamNet Bridge, the online little Englísh language brother of VietnamNet, the country’s #1 online newspaper. We’re aiming to take VNNB up a notch or two. I’m wondering if you’d let us use selections from Gastronomer on a regular basis? I regret that I can only pay with love, not money.

    If yes, write me back to that effect and we’ll get down to details.

    Warm regards, David

  51. Hi
    I love your blog and the wonderful pics you post. I’m in Australia but go to Vietnam every year so you’ve been a great help to me…I go armed with my list of places you’ve written about.
    Loved reading about your Aussie wine experience….but it’s barramundi, and lamington (not lamington cake!).
    Hope you come here and try our wonderful restaurants…it’s well worth the flight:)

  52. i’ve just recently stumbled upon your food blog and i LOVE reading it. i’m so surprised that the astronomer is so adventurous with asian food b/c my husband is also american (slowly but surely he’s beginning to try everything). i enjoy your blog so much b/c half the time i can’t tell who’s writing what since your writing style is so similar. keep up the great job and wonderful pictures.

  53. Dear Cathy,
    A friend of mine was online and told me that you were visiting or some sort to Vietnam @ AsiaLife? So also saw the Rick Stein thing and you at the Ben Thanh market. Cool stuff. Im starting to do some casual reviews in the Thanh Pho….site launch soon. Love your blog by the way.
    Ann Ha

  54. Hi Cathy,
    Just happen to stumble upon your site. I was so happy to see the pics of banh cam, thinking i have found the recipy for it. You know how dissappointed i was ! But i really enjoyed your site, thanks !
    p.s. if you could find the recipy for banh cam ,i would really appreciate it. I tried the one from hoangtam , didn’t turn out right.

  55. Hello Cathy,
    I love your website! I stumbled upon it while searching for info on the Lunch Lady after watching Anthony Bordain. I try my best not to drool over your display of wonderful gastric-juice-inducing goodies. I think though what appeals to me the most about your site is the familiarity of it: I, too, am Vietnamese, went to college in Philly, grad school in LA, even married to a chemist from CalTech. But sadly (and very much regrettably), the many food joints you’ve been to remains on my wishlist and unrealized. After perusing your website, I am very much inspired and already have a list of places to check out the next time I’m in Philly. By the way, I love your blog on the Lacroix Sunday brunch and will definitely give it a whirl. It reminds me of the Champagne Sunday brunch at what used to be the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena (I think now it’s called the Langham) and boy was that a piece of heaven! Anyways, keep up the good work!

  56. I used to follow your blog when I was in Korea. I did not know that you were related to a Ton That Thuan. My Vietnamese commander in 1968 was Major Ton That Thuan of the Vietnamese Special Forces. Likely a cousin of your grandfather, he was killed in action on this date (11 Nov 1969) at Bu Prang. Maj. Thuan was a nationalist who did not particularly like Americans, as he thought we were going about things the wrong way. But he was a patriot, and his life and sacrifice give lie to the Press image of the ARVN officer corps as corrupt, venal, politicians interested only in enriching themselves, though there were a few of those, mostly at the top.

    I was up in Pleiku in February of this year looking for his tomb, but where it would have been in still military land, and closed to outsiders. A police official informed me that Maj Thuan’s family had had the body removed to Hue. If your grandfather knows anything about that, I would appreciate hearing so. I would like to pay my respects at Maj. Thuan’s tomb on my next trip to Hue.

    Shaun M. Darragh

  57. Hi, Just wanted to say thanks for your valuable information on what to try in Vietnam, I am currently living and working here in Ho Chi Minh and it has captured my heart (and Stomach) with all the great foods.
    I enjoy reading your latest as well please keep up the good work

  58. Guys, You have an amazing blog! Thanks for sharing your food adventures. As a young married couple my wife and I enjoy cooking together and exploring restaurants too. Good food nourishes not only the body but the mind and soul. Keep up the good work foodies!

  59. Hi
    I was looking at your food adventures and I’m a huge foodie myself and would love to know how to get into some of the food events you got to go to. How does that work?


    looking forward to hearing from you

  60. I am a new visitor to your site and noticed an oversight in the cupcake section…. Brown Betty Desserts in Philadelphia. What list would be complete without this bakery?! The main shop goes beyond cupcakes, and there is a small, cupcakes-only bakery.They have unusually dense and tasty cake bases, most of which are poundcake-y.

    I did a write up for a local column last year which I am reproducing below since the column itself is defunct. I hope this will convince you to give them a try and an add to your list.

    Janice from

    Brown Betty Petite — tapping into the zeitgest

    Brown Betty Petite, the tiny cupcakes-only bakery just off Rittenhouse Square, seems to be on to something.

    Cupcakes nurture us body and soul. They charm us with their diminutive size. They indulge us with their sweetness. They soothe us with their nostalgia. The economy may be going to hell in a handbasket, but for a few dollars you can be transported back to your third gade classroom, licking pink buttercream off your fingers while your classmates regale you with a round of ‘Happy Birthday to You.’

    Brown Betty Petite offers a rotating selection of homespun varieties like the ‘Company’s Coming’ coconut cupcake, a deeply-flavored red velvet topped with snow-white icing, and the show-stopping ‘Sing Little Alice’ with marble-swirled buttercream atop marble swirled poundcake. Most are constructed on sturdy poundcake bases with fruit purees and other natural flavorings. At around $3 a piece, a Brown Betty Petite cupcake offers comfort and luxury in every bite. This just might be the perfect treat for these uncertain times.

    Brown Betty Petite is located at 269 S. 20th Street and can be reached by phone at 215–545-0444
    For more info:

  61. i really enjoy this blog. you guys should come to my restaurant i think you would dig it. i’m not looking for press i just want you to eat as my guests. check us out on yelp. north end caffe, manhattan beach. thanks for the good site!

  62. I have read all of your restaurant reviews, and absolutely loved them! I live in New Zealand, and because of your blogs i got a little taste of what dining in America is like, so thank-you. I am looking forward one day to travel over there and experience some of the dining that you have.
    (P.S, Especially loved the blogs about Bakeries and their Cup-Cakes!)

  63. Sin Chow!

    Cam Mon for the wonderful tips on eateries in both Saigon and Hanoi!
    I’ve been to Vietnam four times and I’m looking forward to my next visit.
    I plan to check out a couple of eateries you’ve reviewed – thanks for the feedback.

    Keep up the great commentary/photos on your impressive website!
    I, too, am a “foodie”…and a Canadian living in Singapore who loves SE Asia!

  64. Yummy food galore! Great website! Maybe I’m looking around with 3 kids distracting me, but I couldn’t find an option to subscribe to your newsletter. Do you have that option?

  65. they just did my restaurant on diners drive ins & dives. sure wish ya’ll would come check it out. you guys are legit!
    north end caffe
    3421 highland ave
    manhattan bch

  66. Hello, I’d like to request permission to post the salt-pepper calamari picture under Jasmine Express. Please e-mail me. Great site, BTW! Thank you.

  67. I’m trying to find the right spelling for a Vietnamese breakfast food that I think is Bahn Cang but can’t find anything on the net that refers to it. The dish in question is a bunch of small pancakes cooked in a ceramic plate with divits. I think they use a rice batter and then add either scrambled eggs of a fresh quail egg. The little cakes are dipped in nuoc mam with onions and pineapple juice. Any idea what these are?

  68. i am in no way affiliated with this restaurant but if you are ever in san francisco, there is (what i think) the BEST vitnamese restaurant called “Tu Lan”.
    it is a small whole in the wall in the south of market/tenderloin area of san francisco. it’s not only orgasmic good but also a cheap eat.
    i found a link to their menu:
    i must say everything is pretty damn good and dont forget to order your imperial rolls!

  69. I really enjoyed stumbling upon your website. I really wish you had a better RSS or Atom feed. No including the full post with images is regretful.

  70. Hi, Cathy and Vernon,

    I am planning a trip to Hanoi this winter and this question is more for Cathy. I was born in Cha Vinh and I guess I am what the Vietnamese people would call Viet Kieu.

    In your travels, Cathy, throughout Vietnam, did you have problems because you, too, are Viet Kieu?

    I’ve heard of harassment at airports by security guards, and just a hassle all around.

    Please let me know what your experiences have been.

    I really enjoy your website, and tonight, just made thit kho according to the recipe.

    Thanks, again.

  71. Hi,
    Heard about your web site on the My Life as a Foodie podcast. Just thought I’d mention that if you’re passing through the San Fernando Valley there is a block of Vietnamese restaurants at the corner of Sherman Way and Reseda Blvd.

  72. Thx for the Seattle reviews..for the next time we visit there. It would be interesting if you ever get to Vancouver, British Columbia. There’s a whole big posse of Asian restaurants all over the place. Including in the suburbs, Richmond and Burnaby.

    Ever been to Canada yet since it’s not yet reflected in your food blog yet?

  73. eating my way through your hanoi top 10 and all i can think about is the next meal and hoping i’ll get a chance to eat them all again! loved everything so far so thank you.

  74. Hello!
    My name is Depi and im a journalist from Greece.My editor and i are huge fans of yours.
    I’d like to apply for an interview with you. Is it possible? please please email me.

  75. Hi, just wanted to let you know that your “This Little Piggy…” post is not working. It only shows a postcard of a delicious looking jamon! Can you please fix the link? My wife and I are also going to Barcelona and I’d love to read about your experience. Thank you!

  76. how do I print your recipes without having to print all the comments and advertisements with?

    I like your site and anxious to try several recipes, please help me with the printing, I’ve looked for a print recipe area to click on – ?

  77. Sung – The post is loading correctly. It was meant to be a teaser for my readers while I was on the road and away from my computer. You will have no problem finding jamon iberico in Barcelona. Trust me. The market where I took the photos was La Boqueria on Las Rambals.

    Annie – I’ve always wanted to add that feature to my site, but haven’t found the time. I need an intern badly. For the time being, cut and paste onto a word document? Thanks!

  78. Gastronomer– Ahh, thanks for the heads up. We’ll definitely be going to the Boqueria. Did you hit up any other public markets in Barcelona? As much as Boqueria sounds fun, I wouldn’t mind checking out a more “locals only” type of market.

  79. Hi! I love your blog – especially the food posts from Spain. I’m heading there this end of year, and would like to ask you how did you travel to San Sebastian – Was it very out of the way? I understand there’s no flight going there, so did you take a train or…?

    Looking forward to hearing from you – it would be helpful if you could email me.

    Once again, great job on the blog. Awesome! 🙂

  80. Dear Gastronomer,

    This is a wonderful project! Your storytelling, reviews, and
    point of view is fresh and engaging. The photography is fabulous.
    Each dish the almost translucent and glowing with light and
    potential taste! How is it you are not working for Food Network
    or Travel Network already?

    My wife and I especially enjoyed the articles about Spain.
    We dedicated a visit to San Sebastian to follow your path
    through the tapas bars. Ole!

    Get on a plane and describe another food culture for us ASAP!


  81. This is more of a general question with regards to tipping in foreign countries. I know tipping in Europe is viewed with a different mindset than it is in the US, and I’m wondering how to appropriately tip. I’m going to Can Rocca in a month and thought I would ask someone who has been. Any insight you may have would be appreciated.


  82. Austin – We did not tip in the traditional America sense. There may have been a 5% service charge tacked on, but that’s about it. When I lived in Italy a few years ago, I never tipped and it was all good!

  83. Help!! I’m honymooning in Vietnam and my wife and I have been looking for Bo Bay Mon (beef 7 Ways) in Saigon. Her hairdresser recommended it, ever guide book mentions it, and yet we can’t find anyone who has heard of the dish. Could you recommend any restaurants to get this mysterious meal? Thanks and your blog has been helpful on our trip!

  84. Brian – I never encountered bo bay mon during my year living in Vietnam. Each dish can be found individually, but I’ve never seen it served as seven separate courses. I think you guys are best off heading to a banh xeo joint that serves bo la lot and bo mo chai. Those are the best courses anyway! See my Saigon Top 10 for where to find the goods.

  85. My favorite is fresh baby spinach. I love a spinach salad, with all the veggies: tomatoes, avocados, carrotts, celery, radishes, multi colored peppers, chopped walnuts, cranraisins and creamy poppyseed dressings. YUMMY!

  86. Hey, I have a blog for the Philadelphia area called Wing Quest, the goal of which being to find the best wings in Philadelphia. I was just curious as to what it would take to have our blog featured on your site or even just a link shout out. We would be more than glad to return the favor. Our web address is


  87. Love your posts. My husband took me to CA this summer. His family teased us for spending all our time on Bolsa Ave. eating the best Vietnamese food ever. Thank you so much for the recipes you’ve posted – can’t wait to try them all!

  88. Dear Cathy
    We would be interested in maybe conducting some street food tours in Saigon with an expert like you leading these half-day or 2-3 hr tours and giving visitors insights into Vietnamese markets, ingredients, dishes etc… We are looking for somebody and target would be higher end clients and small groups of max 6 to 8 to keep it intimate. I am just trying our luck to see if you would be interested as you definitely would have all it takes.
    If you are , please reply to above email and we can arrange a meeting to discuss things more in detail.
    With best regards

  89. G & A,

    Love the pages, very informative. I’m planning a trip to Alinea in July if you’d like to join me…can’t wait!!!

  90. Tan – We wish! Alinea is such a magical place. You’re going to have a ball 🙂 Send me a plate-by-plate play-by-play so that I can live vicariously through you!

  91. dear, we are a couilpe of Brazilians and we will arrive in Philiphines at December 16th/2011 that will be a fryday.
    We would love to visit Salcedo market at Saturday 17th december 2011.Please we need your help to know in which hotel or place of Manila we can stay for be easy to us go to this market and to be very easy to we also go to the airport. What time is open the salcedo market and what time it will be close?
    We apreciate to have your reply. Thanks a lot.
    kindly regards, Roberta Spinosa & Fernando Pinho

  92. Hi Cathy,
    I have been meaning to write you for a while now. As we prepared for a 2 month trip through Asia, your blog helped us to prepare for our eating adventures. And we had many!!! Your posts about Nguyen Thi helped us to find her, and to have one of the most interesting experiences ever. We would have never found her without your posts! As we were sitting there, she looked at Jason, my significant other and asked him if the soup was okay, which reminded me of something my mom or grandmother would do.

    In all honesty, Vietnam terrified me for many reasons; the whole crossing the street thing and not knowing the language was a little overwhelming. But, in the end, Vietnam was one of the places that changed me from someone who believed in systems and order, to one who can trust in humanity and people. I hope you don’t mind me sharing another experience that transformed me. Near Ben Thanh market, we were really nervous about crossing the roundabout, with all the buses and bikes. As we were waiting for the right time to make our move, I saw a little old lady who was also getting ready to cross. I whispered to Jason that we should follow her lead. Well, as I looked at her, she looked at me and grabbed my hand. So, I held her hand and Jason’s, and we crossed together. On the other side, she thanked me before I could thank her, we hugged and she went on her way.

    Anyways, all of that to say that we are happy we ventured to Vietnam and got to experience some things off the tourist trail.

    In solidarity of eating and food,

  93. Heya,
    For a very long time now, I have, almost religiously, read your blog. I live in New Zealand – on the other side of the world, and I love seeing/reading about all the fantastic food adventures you get up to in the Northern Hemisphere :).
    Basically, I just want to say; Thanks!
    (Your blog is my perfect procrastination/pastime 😛 )

  94. Hi! Love your blog, always great ideas generator 🙂 You should talk a bit more about molecular gastronomy. I just bought a great kit from a Canadian company called Molecule-R. You should contact them and review the kits. I love their products, so easy to use 🙂

    And thanks for your good job!


  95. You seriously need to try Top’s Burgers in Montrey Park. It has been there for over 40 years and they do great burgers with pastrami on top of the beef patty. I use to Live in LA and I live in Florida now. I came across your website looking for new places to visit this summer, but looks like my trip was called off. Anyways, I thought you should give Top’s a whirl.

  96. I think you printed a recipe recently for pork adobo. I copied and gave it to my wife for safe keeping, bought some pork today to make, but I can’t find the recipe nor can I find it on your site. HELP!


  97. Hello, I’m here to ask your permission to post three photos of yours. They are the Bruxie restaurant sign, a waffle with maple syrup on the side, and the Eataly awning in New York City.

    I love your blog as well. It is the perfect blog for everyone! (:


  98. Hi,

    I know you are from San Diego, and I think you should definitely try Khyber Pass Restaurant in Hillcrest the next time you visit. They serve the most authentic Afghan food in California. I would recommend the “Quabili Palow” which is a rice dish with chunks of lamb, raisins and shredded carrots. Sounds like a weird combination, but i am sure you will love it!!

  99. I get up every Saturday morning and look forward to watching my fave “Secrets of a Resturant Chef.” BTBRTS, and that’s just the way I Roll!

  100. Love your posts… So my wife and I will be in LA in mid jan for 2-3 days… What are the must eat places? We’ve been thinking about Osteria Mozza, Bazaar, Kogi BBQ… We’re adventurous so hole in the walls are fine 🙂 We’re from Boston, so we can’t find good Korean, Vietnamese so if you have any good recommendations I would appreciate it..


  101. Seatlle… but no Portland… not only a huge blind spot, but it draws the whole “Best” thing into question.

  102. Hi, Gastronomer and Astronomer. I found your website, searching for a pretzel recipe. Yours looks reliable and I will probably be blogging about it. Anyhow, I see you have been to Seattle to enjoy our great food. You should try Il Corvo when you have a chance. It’s a great pasta spot in the Pikes Place area. Keep up the great work with your beautiful blog!

    Warm Regards,

    Jan Z. Parker

  103. I just skimmed your STL eats and I have to say, as a STL foodie, there are so many more places you could go! Please let me know the next time you are in town and i’ll put together a list for you.

  104. I just saw the Astronomer on Eat St. Eating at the meatball truck! So weird to recognize someone from the internet on tv…anyway, looked yummy!

  105. hi
    i’ve been looking for a refrigerator kimchi recipe, you had it. i knew it was possible, just wasn’t quite sure. i was looking for a kimchi pot. i really like kimchi, i am cajun.
    perhaps this helps you understand, cajuns are adaptable, this cajun has go this one. thanks.

  106. Your website is fantastic and i used it as my for my 2 trips to san sebastian last year. i have not visited your site for a while and have only just seen you have visited london which is a shame, as a chef it would have been fantastic to cook for you or even join you for diner and talk food

  107. I would like to subscribe to your blog, and was not able to find where. Hope this message will suffice.

    And yes, I am also Vietnamese American who grew up in the SF Bay Area, but now reside near Boston. Thank you!

  108. Hi Cathy!

    I met you outside of Flossie’s on Sunday. It was great meeting you. I love your blog. It is a foodie’s dream. I am so jealous that you were able to visit America’s Test Kitchen. I love that show the way that children love Sesame Street.

  109. Hey!!
    I loved your blog! i’m goign to HCMC around christmas so will try out as much street food as possible! Only trouble is i’m deadly allergic to Prawns/Shrimp!! any advice on what to avoid or what i can tell them!

  110. Luv what you have on this site. I am a chef (for 36 years — big & fancy etc) and you have a way with writing and, obviously, cooking. Viet pork — yum! Like I had in Vietnam!
    Chef Cheyne Keith

  111. I would like to know how i can buy a box of soft pretzel with stuffed cream cheese in it. i have searched all over the usa for it. I would like to buy a box.I really love them and would like my grand chilren to taste it. please reply to me using my email address listed thanks victoria gunter

  112. Aloha,
    Please i need to get French Laundry reservations, For november 18 or 19th any time lunch or dinner. Preferably for dinner, its my honey moon. I would love to do somethig nice for my soon to be husband. Thank you

  113. you’ve been to almost all of my favorite places to eat! and from your reviews of the same dishes i’ve eaten, we have very similar tastes 🙂 I HATE BEANSPROUTS TOO, like i don’t think there are many foods out there that don’t add anything and should not exist, but bean sprouts are definitely up there.

    Please eat at Milk in Mid-City West!!
    get their Thai Tea macaron ice cream sandwich and blue velvet cake! their cali chicken salad’s awesome too!

    and I’m from Arcadia, so please get the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup at Sinbala
    no idea why their name on yelp is Simbala, when the store sign definitely shows an “n”
    anyway, everyone gets the Sausage Egg Rice there which is pretty good, but i literally only eat the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup okay i’m sorry for the lack of punctuation but i’m just so excited for you to try these things because i love your food blog oh god i hope you don’t hate these recommendations please

    okay. seriously though. love your food blog. wish i had a food blog but i’m too lazy/don’t own a good camera/not an engaging writer/mostly lazy so i just keep my food photos on my phone for me to look at when i’m craving stuff. I’m seriously not as annoying as this comment makes me sound. i hope. email me if you wanna chat!

  114. can you tell me were that huge corn dog was from. or who I can call to find out. thank you for your help . Im opening a new place in SAILDA, CA. and would love to find out how we can get more info in that. thank you.

  115. Hello

    We are interested in purchasing one of your photos on Jia Jia Tang Bao Xiaolongbao to be featured on our desktop calendar that will feature foods not to be missed around Asia.

    Would you be able to contact me with a quote by tomorrow please?

    Jeffry Lautan
    White Paper Communications

  116. hello!

    I have nominated you for the following awards, The Liebster Award, Very Inspiring Blog Award, Best Moment Award, Sunshine Award & Versatile Blogger Award as I always find your blog a great read and inspiring!


  117. Hello Foodie Friends! Looking for French Laundry reservations for January 17 or 18 for our 10 year anniversary. Thank you kindly!

  118. Cathy — Jane’s and David’s and Daniel’s friend Dorrie here. Just sent three friends in LA copies of your new book as New Years presents. All of them are sure to do some exploring – with your help!

  119. Cathy hi,

    No kidding, we’ve transformed the donut to a fine pastry.
    How about our $14.00 shrimp donut with a 2004 Dom.

    I would very much enjoy having you in for a tasting.

    Many thanks, Harry Benzvi
    Glazed Donut Bistro, 8807 Santa Monica Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310)360-o222

  120. Hello, we are an up and coming QSR in Los Angeles. We’d like to invite this Wednesday July 23rd, National Hot Dog Day to try our version of LA’s official bacon warped dog, the Dirt Dog. We will be hosting from 6-10 pm. Any questions please feel free to contact me, thanks.

  121. Hello,

    I am a student journalist writing an article about Molecular Gastronomy. I was wondering if you could tell me what have you noticed in the support of Molecular Gastronomy? Has it grown or decreased over the past couple of years?

    Thank you!

  122. I saw your recipe on the Cooking channel for Shrimp Tempura.

    I would love to have the ingredients and cooking instructions for the recipe and also for the sauce.

  123. Please contact me regarding some of your photography. I would like to know if we can use some of your photos in an upcoming article for a newsstand magazine?

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