So, about last night...I had a love affair with a pig! If you couldn't tell from the title, I've been enjoying the "honeymoon" phase of our relocation. We haven't yet settled in an apartment, and don't have more than the suitcases we packed [still waiting on the surface container] - so, we are largely in vacation-mode trying countless restaurants with a world of cuisine options. Not a bad way to get acquainted with a new country! In order to help us make the most of this time, we've read a number of reviews on TripAdvisor, various blogs, and in the popular magazine WORD [Vietnam's "Portland Monthly" - so good!] - and of course, received some great recommendations from other expats. This brought us to Quán Ụt Ụt [the Vietnamese translation: "Restaurant/Eatery Oink Oink"] a down-to-earth, but lively American BBQ joint with some pretty awesome pork. We started with the Just Bacon [literally a plate of thick cut smokey bacon goodness] and a couple of Memphis Bourbon Oyster Shooters before sharing a plate of pork shoulder served up with grilled okra, corn-on-the-cob, and some of the creamiest mac 'n cheese I've ever had. Also, Quán Ụt Ụt is the first place we ever had to wait for a table, if that tells you anything about its popularity amongst locals, expats, and tourists alike! Expect to be seated at shared tables which adds to the fun atmosphere...and, since the menu is small and the food is constantly grilling, the service is not only a delight, but also quick! Well worth the up front wait time [with a toddler in the rain] - Any. Night. Of. The. Week. We will be back - often!
One of my other favorite spots that came highly recommended is Khói Thơm - the epitome of foodie-meets-authentic-Mexican-in-SE Asia. It was so good, I immediately wrote a review [before even blogging about it] - you can read that on TripAdvisor if you want to hear more about that meal. We were greeted with chips & salsa, and while the chips were made with sweet potato [not your traditional style tortilla chips], the salsa had the right amount of heat and we polished off 2 servings before the appetizer even arrived. For those of you that know me, Mexican food is like water - I just need it to survive. Thankfully, Khói Thơm was found early, as I'm sure I'll need a regular "fix".
I know, I know...you were expecting rave reviews about our new food adventures perhaps with Vietnamese fare, but these places were just too good not to blog about. And, to be honest I've been too busy actually EATING food to think about writing about it.