“Pho Real”

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted anything. If you didn’t know, I was in Vietnam and Singapore! I actually had a little countdown going on the side of the blog until I arrived in “Food Paradise,” aka Vietnam. Well I did arrive and it was fabulous. However I am now back in the US, freezing to death. I don’t think there’s an emoticon to express that so I’m moving on.

And what to say about the trip except that it was very very special, such a good trip and I miss it immensely already. More than I thought I would actually. I got to go with my Vietnamese family that I grew up with and meet a whole bunch of new family and friends. Then to top it off, I got to spend time with one of my best friends in Singapore. Good times.

Here I am with the fam:

Viet Fam

I have yet to post any pictures but I wanted to put up a new post as soon as I could so I thought, what better to talk about first then Pho?? The title is my lame attempt to incorporate the correct pronunciation of Pho into an English phrase so for those of you who don’t get it, it is supposed to be like, “Fo’ Real??” I just realized that it could still be pronounced the wrong way but nevermind that… because it was also supposed to be a pun for experiencing “real” Pho! Anyway…

I thought I’d give you a few pictures of the different types of Pho I had! Pho is my favorite Vietnamese food and I honestly don’t think I’ve had it as good as my Vietnamese mom made it growing up… but here is what I did have!

So the first night there we had eaten several times already but I couldn’t go to sleep without having some Pho so we went to a place across the street to have some before going to bed. This is still when my appetite was acting normally…

My First Pho

And there it is… taken with my phone camera. I was happy to be there, so we ordered two bowls each! How much for all three of us ordering two bowls? Hmm, like $5… now that’s the life.

So we flew into Ho Chi Minh City and drove south for a couple hours to Go Cong, that is where the family lives. Most of our time was spent there. We did get to see a couple other cities, Da Lat, and Nha Trang, all really beautiful, and food experiences in all of them. But before we get to those, here are some more Pho shots!

Pho

Go Cong is a small town so everything was so close and besides the first night of Pho, we tended to go to the same Pho place each time we had Pho, whether it be for breakfast (it’s a breakfast food in Vietnam) or for dinner. Here was the place.

Our Pho PlaceIf you look closely, you can see our table on the left there with Isaiah, Trung and Trung’s cousin Gi. That was our crew for most of the trip. Trung is displaying the very stereotypical Asian gang sign.

Anytime I stepped outside the house in this town, people were staring at me. I was the ONLY white person in town and remained to be the only white person. I was one of two anomalies in town: me (the white person) and the one other “not-so-skinny” Vietnamese person but no one stared at her, probably used to it. And since I cannot currently show you the face in which people used to look at me, I can only describe the stares. Imagine if you saw a deformed celebrity. Like Justin Timberlake but with his face melting off or something. That was the way people seemed to look at me; maybe you’ll catch a picture showing one of the faces.

Pho

So yes, this was still Pho. This place we went to also sold Bun Bo Hue, another great Vietnamese noodle soup, but it has more of an orangey, spicier broth. Trung and I were convinced they used the same pot or something because their Pho always looked “tainted,” or we thought so. It was still good.

Ho Chi Minh Pho

Here was another important sighting of Pho. We went to Ho Chi Minh City a few times over the course of the trip and on the way we always stopped at this same little stall to get Pho, I think the driver and family were familiar with the owners. What is sad is that the first time we went, I was sick and couldn’t eat any but I made up for it when we went again later. I think this was our decided favorite Pho spot.

HCM Pho

Our regular schedule while there involved sleeping late, eating, getting coffee, napping and then spending time with family and eating a lot more. We had a favorite coffee shop as well, we think it is called Go Cong Cafe… They always serve some tea, we’d order some coffee and maybe some fruit smoothies. The coffee was incredible as always, I love it sweet and the smoothies were really really good. Everything tastes so real and fresh. I even got to try some new Vietnamese fruits, one of them in smoothie form.

Coffee Shot

So this is while the coffee is still dripping over the condensed milk. You then stir it up and pour it over the ice. And on the left is the tea. There were usually two different types of tea, a jasmine tea (I preferred) and another one, that seemed root-y, maybe from sugar cane or something… After you finish the coffee, you can just pour the tea they give you over the remaining ice, it’s good. And they are continually adding ice since it melts so fast.

FYI guys, if you take a girl on a coffee date, you are supposed to make her coffee, as in stir it up and pour it! So don’t slack, she’ll think it’s disrespectful. (Why you so respect me???!?!) Inside joke

Here were our two favorite smoothies: Strawberry and Mang Cau,the new fruit I was talking about which I tried in smoothie and normal form.

Smoothies

And since our days usually involved a lot of food and family, here is a family shot. This was the day of the two grandmas birthdays. Almost everyone is in this picture and I’m taking it.

The Fam

I think that is it for now but there will be more to come with more food!

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