Fresh spring rolls – Barbecue Garden

Fresh spring rolls - Barbecue Garden
Goi cuon tom thit heo. With shrimp and pork, vermicelli noodles, assorted greens, cucumber, green onion, served with peanut sauce. 24,000 VND
Barbecue Garden, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

These spring rolls were pretty good and tasted fresh. I was really intrigued by the peanut sauce though. It had so many cool things on top including fried garlics chips. It tasted great, but it was a little on the thick side for my taste.

Tiger draught beer - Barbecue Garden
Tiger draught beer. 330 ml 27,000 VND
Aahh! These beers were SO refreshing and so were the mister fans blowing throughout the dining room.

Barbecue Garden outdoor dining area
Barbecue Garden outdoor dining area.

Cholon Chinese Market
Cho Binh Tay Market, Cholon (Chinatown).

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Bbq shrimp – Hai Lua Food Countryside

Bbq shrimp - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Grilled whole shrimp served with some kind of salt and lime. Half order 219,000 VND
Hai Lua Food Countryside, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Wow, these shrimp were SO delicious! They were probably one of the best things I ate in Vietnam. They were so tender and flavorful. We weren’t sure how to prepare/use the salt and lime so we just tried everything, lol!

Bia 333 beer - Hai Lua Food Countryside
Bia 333 lon beer. 21,000 VND

Hai Lua in the Ben Thanh Night Market
The lady cooks working the grill at Hai Lua in the Ben Thanh Night Market.

Hai Lua seafood in the Ben Thanh Night Market
The seafood was really fresh here and you could personally choose some of your items directly from the baskets.

Rice vermicelli with seafood – Nha Hang Ngon

Rice vermicelli with seafood - Nha Hang Ngon
Bun gao xao hai san. With shrimp, calamari, carrot, cabbage, onion, sprouts, cilantro, and scallions. 120,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Mmm, another delicious dish from Nha Hang Ngon. This had SO much flavor and a variety of textures – it was perfect! The seafood was prepared properly and the sauce was amazing. I could eat two plates of this!

Place setting - Nha Hang Ngon
Place setting.

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.

Green mango salad – Vietnamese Kitchen

Green mango salad - Vietnamese Kitchen
Goi xoal kho sac. With dried fish, shrimp chips, and red chilies. 94,000 VND
Vietnamese Kitchen, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This place sucked! The food was mediocre at best, overpriced, and the service was rude and surly! This green mango salad was slimy and SUPER salty. I’m the last person to complain about saltiness because I love it, but this was TOO much. I really wish we hadn’t eaten here!

War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum.

Beef salad – Nha Hang Ngon

Beef salad - Nha Hang Ngon
Goi bo bop thau. With vegetables and peanuts in spicy sauce, served with shrimp chips. 130,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Beef salad - Nha Hang Ngon
Wow, this dish was SO delicious! The bright, sour sauce was great and the beef was so tender and flavorful. I’m not sure what all the vegetables were, but they tasted great and had many different textures. Definitely a wonderful choice!

Puppies for sale
Puppies for sale! While walking down the sidewalk, we notice a guy selling these adorable puppies from the back of his motorcycle. There were probably a dozen of them and I wanted ONE! :)

Vietnamese pancake with shrimp – Bamboo Garden

Vietnamese pancake with shrimp - Bamboo Garden
Banh khot tom. Served with assorted greens for wrapping. 84,000 VND
Bamboo Garden, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This was a new dish for me. I didn’t know what to expect when I read “Vietnamese pancake”, but it sure wasn’t these thick delicious morsels. They had a soft, almost custardy texture but were more firm and savory. The shrimp were a little overcooked though.

Assorted greens - Bamboo Garden
Omg! And I certainly didn’t expect an entire bowl of all these greens for wrapping around the pancakes before dipping them into the sweetened fish sauce mixture. Although I didn’t know what everything was, they sure tasted great!

Tran Hung Dao statue
Tran Hung Dao statue and new high rise construction.

Seafood fried rice in clay pot – Bamboo Garden

Seafood fried rice in clay pot - Bamboo Garden
Fried rice with shrimp, calamari. 114,000 VND
Bamboo Garden, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Seafood fried rice in clay pot - Bamboo Garden
This dish was OK. The seafood was actually pretty tender and flavorful, but the dish as a whole was kinda boring. They actually just scooped the fried rice into the clay pot before serving. I thought that it was gonna be cooked in it so that there would be crispy rice at the bottom, but that didn’t happen. :(

Cocktails - Bamboo Garden
Caipirinha: dark rum, lime, and sugar. Two for 85,000 VND
Long Island Iced Tea: tequila, gin, rum, vodka, triple sec, coke, and lemon.

Saigon Opera House
Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Minh City).

Shrimp spring rolls – Pho 2000

Shrimp spring rolls - Pho 2000
Cha gio tom. Served with sweet fish sauce, carrots and lettuce. 65,000 VND
Pho 2000, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

These crispy spring rolls were really tasty, but I’ve always loved Vietnamese style spring rolls. They had a lot of flavor and were filled with plenty of delicious noodles and vegetables.

Moist towelettes - Pho 2000
Moist towelettes.

SGN international arrivals
Drivers and families wait at international arrivals, SGN.

Red dragon & Reward rolls – Barracuda Sushi

Red dragon & Reward rolls - Barracuda Sushi
Reward Roll: deep fried shrimp, soft shell crab, cucumber, crab roll topped with salmon and avocado with tobiko and unagi sauce. $12.95
Red Dragon: Unagi tempura and cucumber roll topped with spicy tuna, tomato, jalapeno, spicy miso sauce and tobiko-garlic chips. $14.95
Barracuda Sushi, San Francisco CA

Red dragon & Reward rolls - Barracuda Sushi
The rolls at Barracuda are always pretty tasty and large, but you’d expect that at this above-average price point. I do like that they offer plenty of fried (tempura) roll options for my fat-craving self, lol! Their flavor combinations are also inventive and varied.

Bbq shrimp and grits – Brown Sugar Kitchen

Bbq shrimp and grits - Brown Sugar Kitchen
With brown sugar butter and apple cider syrup. $15
Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland CA

I’m still annoyed by the ridiculously long wait that we had to endure and the bad service we encountered at this place, when the food wasn’t even amazing enough to make up for it. This bbq shrimp was super sweet and became nauseating after eating it for a while. Needless to say, I didn’t finish. This place also uses Barilla pasta, an blatantly anti-LGBT company. Definitely not returning…

Madarin combo clay pot – Jasmine Tea House

Madarin combo clay pot - Jasmine Tea House
Shrimp, beef, scallop, squid, chicken, jalapeno, vegetable, garlic. $12.95
Jasmine Tea House, San Francisco CA

Mmm, for a delivery clay pot dish, this rocked! The ingredients were of surprisingly good quality and they tasted great! There were so many proteins packed in there. Most Chinese places fill the dish with bok choy and only give you a few slices of meat. I was even surprised that the squid and scallops were tender and fresh tasting. Now that’s impressive for Chinese delivery! I would definitely order this dish again.

Joan of Arc statue
Joan of Arc statue, California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

BBQ Gulf shrimp – Town Hall

BBQ Gulf shrimp - Town Hall
Worcestershire sauce, scallions, sprouts, garlic herb toast. $15
Town Hall, San Francisco CA

This tasted good, perhaps way too salty, but it still had great flavors. You would think that a nicer place like Town Hall would know better than to over-season their food, but maybe they were having an off night. Nicely cooked shrimp has to be one of my favorite things especially with the heads attached. I’ve always been surprised at how many people won’t try sucking out the heads because they’re afraid or disgusted. But that’s where all the favorite is! Mmm, shrimp heads are SO amazing, NOMS!

Game still life
Game still life, de Young Museum.