Fresh spring rolls – Sisters Cafe

Fresh spring rolls - Sisters Cafe
Shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, salad served with sweet chili sauce. 39,000 VND
Sisters Cafe, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Meh, these were standard for Saigon. I mean they were better than most you can get back in the states, but they didn’t blow me away after having eaten at so many places already. I was surprised that they got their food from somewhere else though. You order at the restaurant, but they must have their kitchen at a nearby building because the server always came from outside to deliver our food. Hmm, odd.

Nha Tho Cha Tam Church
Nha Tho Cha Tam Church, Cholon (Chinatown).

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Vietnamese spring rolls – Hula’s Island Grill

Vietnamese spring rolls - Hula's Island Grill
Tofu, peanuts, apple, lemongrass, carrots, basil, lettuce. $5
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz CA

These rolls were pretty bland and lacked Vietnamese flavor. They needed some mint and fish sauce or something. You really had to dip the rolls in the sauces to get any flavor – kinda disappointing.

Wild radish flowers
Wild radish flowers (Raphanus sativus, Brassicaceae), Pigeon Point, Pescadero.

Chicken and shrimp spring rolls – Dinosaurs

Chicken and shrimp spring rolls - Dinosaurs
Shredded chicken and boiled shrimp, vermicelli noodles, mint, rice paper, peanut sauce. $4.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

Why is Vietnamese food SO good?! Perhaps it’s because it’s packed with flavor (and saltiness)! Whatevs, I’ll eat it any day.

Decorative maple tree
Decorative maple tree (Aceraceae) with a sycamore tree (Platanaceae) in the background, 16th Street.

Poke rolls – Duke’s Waikiki

Poke rolls - Duke's Waikiki
Raw ahi, Maui onion, sauteed in rice paper. $12.95
Duke’s Waikiki, Honolulu HI

This starter wass billed as “Hawaii’s favorite pupu” on their menu. I don’t know about that. It tasted ok, but it was super greasy! Who knew it was actually deep fried? I assumed it was a fresh roll from the menu description, and because I don’t immediately think “fried” when poke comes to mind. Hmm, hand me another drink!

Hawaiian song and dance performance
Hawaiian song and dance performance, Waikiki Beach.

Goi cuon – Zadin

Goi cuon - Zadin
Summer rolls. Steamed shrimp and pork, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, red leaf lettuce, cilantro and mint wrapped in rice paper served with peanut sauce. $8.50
Zadin, San Francisco CA

Being the little piggy that I am, I enjoyed that these summer rolls came with both shrimp and pork inside! In gnereal, I’d also have to say that I was impressed with all their sauces. Go Zadin!

Marble stairs, US Customhouse
Marble stairs, US Customhouse, Battery Street.

Chilled veggie summer roll – Jiao

Chilled veggie summer roll - Jiao
With sweet and sour pepper sauce. $7
Jiao, Palm Springs CA

I really liked this roll. The addition of ripe mango was great and the pepper sauce kept everything bright and fresh. We were looking for light fare so this was perfect!

Place settings - Jiao
Place settings.

Backyard lemon tree
Lemon tree in the backyard on a typical Palm Springs day.

Bo bia – Vung Tau Restaurant

Bo bia - Vung Tau Restaurant
Vietnamese fresh spring roll with Chinese sausage, egg, peanut, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. $7.25
Vung Tau Restaurant, San Jose CA

Bo bia - Vung Tau Restaurant
This was a very disappointing lunch! The food was mediocre and the prices were high for what we received. These fresh rolls were the highlight of the meal though. I’ve never had them with the Chinese sausages before, and they were delicious. I also liked the addition of peanuts for crunch and flavor. Noms!

Pink snapdragon flowers (Antirrhinum majus, Scrophulariaceae)
Pink snapdragon flowers (Antirrhinum majus, Scrophulariaceae). I’m not familiar with all the streets in San Jose so I’m not sure which street this was in downtown San Jose. These plants were in large cement planters lining the sidewalk of a commercial street.