Hanoi’s the fragrance of "motorbike exhaust, fish sauce, incense, the faraway smell of something — is that pork grilling over charcoal?... It could be no place else." – Anthony Bourdain.
True to his word, the scent of exhaust, fish sauce, incense, and pork grilling over charcoal wafted through the air as I tiptoed through the Hanoi traffic tightly grasping my life. A communist country that has lived through many great wars with the now China, France, and USA it remained impoverished until reforms made in 1986.
In an interview between Anthony Bourdain and Anderson Cooper, Cooper notes of how there was only a handful of Americans in 1991. Times have changed, and the world moves forward as my most recent visit to Hanoi brought to my eyes a wide range of tourists. Mostly, a lot of French and Dutch.
The locals very much enjoyed the same lifestyle as us. They have smartphones and access to social media. However, the real treasure in Hanoi, and all of Vietnam from what I’ve seen laid with the people and the culture. I’ll be frank, it’s still an impoverished nation compared to the Western countries. People don’t have much, and they work hard for a monthly salary an average American could probably earn in a week or less.
I love visiting countries like Vietnam, not only because I can make my dollar stretch, but because it humbles me and reminds me to be grateful of what I have. If a 70 year-old woman can walk on the street for hours in slippers with heavy melons on her shoulder for sale with a smile, then I have no right to complain about anything.
If you’re living in a prosperous country and are struggling, I want to remind you that it could be worse. You could be a 70 year old woman, in slippers, carrying melons, with a smile. Our mindsets go a long way with helping our well-being. Luckily enough, it is also one of the things we have control over in our life. Make the positive choice.
I’ve been searching my whole life for my favorite bowl of Pho. Not until I came to Vietnam on vacation and destiny had me stumble across Anh Hạnh selling Pho on the street did I realize that sometimes the world’s most valuable gems are very hard to see or sometimes even remain hidden from plain sight.
Anh Hạnh not only offers the richest and most flavorful bowl I have ever tasted, he is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and customer service oriented. I’ve been back to his place every other day for almost a week and he always greets with a smile and never disappoints (almost makes me want to not go back to the States 😆) Come to his little shop on 102/2 Pasteur, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City and I promise you will not be disappointed. Trust me, it’s even worth traveling an hour out of your way for. 🥣🥢
Got carried away by the heavenly dessert, that I almost forgot the delicious dinner I had earlier too! 😆
Always ordering the chicken pho as it was so good, that I keep asking for that same whenever I’m there. But today I decided to have the Mrs Pho’s Special Beef Pho; with a mixed of slice beef, brisket and beef balls.
This is really good! 😍 Not sure why it came with a bowl of poached egg in beef broth. At $11.90, I think this is a really good value, hearty meal !
¿Todavía no sabes cómo comer el pancake vietnamita Banh Xeo? No te preocupes, aquí el Chef Hoang nos lo explica (pista: ¡tus manos son los cubiertos perfectos para este plato!) 🙌 🍴⠀
Not sure how to eat the Vietnamese pancake Banh Xeo? Don't worry! Here Chef Hoang explains how to eat this dish (hint: your hands are the perfect cutlery for this dish!) 🙌 🍴⠀
I have been on a pho kick lately. 😋 This is the P3 from #pholodgemn . It comes with 3 beef rib bones, eye round steaks, tripe, tendons, 2 shrimp, and meat ball slices. All for $14.
Service was great. The owners were our servers and they were welcoming, polite, and friendly. They sat us quickly, took our order promptly, and the food came out without much of a wait. I’ve tried to eat here a couple times before and the first few times I came they were closed early due to being sold out. The owner kindly apologized and informed me of this as I entered the restaurant, and welcomed me back the next day. I appreciated that.
Pho Lodge opened earlier this fall, taking over the space where Maiv’s Eggroll used to be in Maplewood. It is a pho-only restaurant, meaning the speciality is pho and that’s all that is served. While the pho is pricier than what I typically pay for pho here in the Twin Cities, I enjoyed it. The noodles were cooked perfectly in my opinion, and the broth was light yet flavorful. I didn’t really need to add any additional seasoning, which surprised me, as I often do add additional seasoning to my pho. The beef ribs were sooooooo tender and juicy, y’all! 🤤 I do wish they would have put in more shrimp and meatballs, but I’m a carnivore so...🤷🏻♀️ what’s too much and just enough when it comes to meat? Overall, I was impressed. While this won’t be my go-to pho place, I would return.