Beef noodle soup – Pho 2000

Beef noodle soup - Pho 2000
Pho bo. Sliced beef with flat rice noodles, onions, and chives. Served with basil, greens, limes, and habanero peppers. Regular 65,000 VND
Pho 2000, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

I think I like beef pho better than chicken pho. The broth has a lot more flavor and I think it’s more fun to eat with chopsticks, especially if you have to try and separate the thin slices of beef. This soup was very tasty and such a great value!

Communist flower bed
Communist flower bed, Cong Vien 23 Thang 9.

Chicken noodle soup – Pho 2000

Chicken noodle soup - Pho 2000
Pho ga. Sliced chicken breast with flat rice noodles, onions, and chives. Served with basil, greens, limes, and habanero peppers. Regular 65,000 VND
Pho 2000, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This was the first real meal we had in Vietnam and it was pretty good. The broth was delicious and it was SUPER cheap! The place was packed with tourists and locals alike. This is when I realized that we would be served lots of random greens that we wouldn’t recognize, and also that restaurants charge for wet naps. 🙂

Soup accompaniments - Pho 2000
Basil, leaf stalks that I’ve never seen before, limes, and habanero peppers.

Ben Thanh Night Market
Ben Thanh Night Market. Watch out for the crazy scooters zipping by while the market is setting up!

Shredded chicken noodle soup – PPQ Beef Noodle House

Shredded chicken noodle soup - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Pho ga xe phay. Hand pulled chicken in chicken broth with flat noodles. Accompanied by sprouts, lemon, jalapeno, basil, onions and cilantro. Medium $7.75
PPQ Beef Noodle House, San Francisco CA

This place was packed when we ate here and I could see why. The food is pretty good and the prices are great. The service is friendly enough but sometimes a little confused because the large volume of tables constantly turning. It’s all about the broth for me when eating pho, and this place has good broth. The flavor could have been a little deeper, but that’s easily compensated for by adding some spicy condiments. Yum!

Soup add ons - PPQ Beef Noodle House
Soup add-ons.

Thread agave
Thread agave (Agave filifera, Asparagaceae), West Field Road.

Chicken pad thai – Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine

Chicken pad thai - Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine
Sliced chicken breast, fried tofu, ground peanuts, rice noodle, sprouts, egg, ordered “hot”. $8.50
Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine, San Francisco CA

I love that Sweet Basil Thai actually packs some heat in their dishes. Other Thai restaurant promise heat, but don’t usually deliver. I think they’re afraid they’ll blow out most Americans’ tastebuds. I’ve spent over a month in Thailand and the food is REALLY hot so I can understand their caution. This pad thai was delicious and spicy. It didn’t get me sweating, but it had some welcomed heat after so many bland dishes elsewhere.

Cliff House
Cliff House historic restaurant, Point Lobos Avenue.

Chicken pad thai - Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine
October 2013. Still looks pretty similar.

Hai nan chicken soup – Cafe Encore

Hai nan chicken soup - Cafe Encore
Lai fun noodle, bok choy, garlic, green onion. $7.50
Cafe Encore, Millbrae CA

Hai nan chicken soup - Cafe Encore
Mmm, this was REALLY good! The soup was super flavorful and the chicken was tender and delicious. I loved that they kept all the bones on since it lends so much more flavor. I not fussy, so I don’t mind eating around them. I’m craving this soup right now!

Noodle soup #10 – Pho Big Bowl

Noodle soup #10 - Pho Big Bowl
Pho tai chin nam. Eye round steak, brisket and well-done flank, served with thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno and lemon. Medium $5.75
Pho Big Bowl, Seattle WA

Soup additions - Pho Big Bowl
There’s something very comforting about pho. The rich beef broth is usually so flavorful and completely warms your body. Mix in a little heat, sour, and umami and you have a winning combination! Mmm.

Seattle rain aftermath
Seattle rain aftermath, Ballard.

Shrimp spring rolls – Pho Big Bowl

Shrimp spring rolls - Pho Big Bowl

Goi cuon tom. Shrimp, rice noodle and veggies. $4.85
Pho Big Bowl, Seattle WA

Decent shrimp spring rolls. What I was struck by was the thick consistency of their peanut sauce. I’ve never had one so thick! It still tasted good though.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X
Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, model 1998, fabricated 199, stainless steel and fiberglass painted with acrylic urethane, Claes Oldenburg, Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Crispy Tofu banh mi – Dinosaurs

The Crispy Tofu banh mi - Dinosaurs
Shredded fried tofu, rice noodles, and taro with Vegenaise, pickled carrot and daikon radishes, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, and mayo on a French baguette. $4.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

Hmm, this was fun to eat but it wasn’t really my kind of banh mi. I definitely prefer the more meaty variety. The tofu shreds were also really small so it didn’t seem substantial enough for me.

Orange Aloe sp
Orange Aloe sp. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) flowers, West Field Road.

Bun bo hue – Little Saigon

Bun bo hue - Little Saigon
Hue style spicy noodle soup with tendon, sliced pork ball, and blood cubes. $7.25
Little Saigon, South San Francisco CA

Hadn’t had this type of soup before but I really liked it! The broth was rich abd amazing and the ingredients were different enough to make it interesting. I will say that there were a lot of blood cubes in there – too many for me to comfortably finish. But the tendon and pork balls were yummy enough to finish.

Bun cha cio – Little Saigon

Bun cha cio - Little Saigon
Imperial rolls (deep fried stuffed with minced pork, taro root and carrot) with rice noodles. Served with shredded lettuce, carrot, mint, bean sprouts, green onions, peanut, and house fish sauce. $6.75
Little Saigon, South San Francisco CA

Mmm, I love Vietnamese imperial rolls! I enjoy the crispy, almost hard texture of its fried wrapper and the salty fish sauce that it always comes with. Almost as good as lumpia, hehe.

South San Francisco Bart Station artwork
Artwork at the South San Francisco Bart Station.

Pad thai – Pad Thai Restaurant

Pad thai - Pad Thai Restaurant
Stir fried rice sticker noodles with shrimp, egg, fried tofu, scallion, ground peanut and bean sprouts. $8.50
Pad Thai Restaurant, San Francisco CA

This restaurant’s pad thai always has a lot of flavor, but sometimes it can be on the dry side. This time around, the shrimp and eggs were overcooked. Ugh!

Hens-and-chicks (Echeveria sp., Crassulaceae)
Red tipped hens-and-chicks (Echeveria sp., Crassulaceae), Divisadero Street.