So, with my bizarre erratic new schedule, the FP and I still find ourselves driving around early morning looking for a place to eat. I guess moreso now that I don't work early mornings. So that was how we happened upon Nhu Y. They were open at 8 or 9 am. Saigon was not - which is okay by me.
I have fallen out of love with Saigon, so when I go back there, it's not to rekindle the relationship fires, more just to check up on the place and see if it's still breathing.
So whatever day it was that we went to Nhu Y for the first time, it was the first place that caught our eye, so we stopped there. It's a bright corner space on El Cajon Blvd, 4712, to be exact. They are open 7am - 9 pm, seven days a week! Those are my kind of hours!
So it's bright, on the corner, lots of windows, white tile, cleanish. We walked in, and this guy sat us at a table. He gave us time to look at the menu, then he came back to take our order. As soon as we started to say what we wanted, this other guy, maybe an owner(?) came up with a check pad and took over. He didn't even say anything to the other guy, he just edged him out. Weird. He seemed like some kind of guy you wouldn't want to fuck with. Anyway, I got the bun, vermicelli noodles with shrimp paste on sugar cane and egg rolls. Bun Chao Tom Cha Gio I am a sucker for eggrolls. I'm asian. I love that shit. Whenever someone calls out to me, "you dropped your eggroll," I literally look on the ground to see if I really did drop my eggroll - because that would be a travesty.
So the Food Pimp got the beef and pork hot soup. Bun Bo Hue.
So then this past week we went in again. I got the rice vermicelli with lemon grass & cayenne beef. The FP got the beef and pork hot soup. We also got the spring rolls this time. We were starving.
So let's sort through this.
The soup - looked good both times. The broth was spicy, rich, tangy. The FP seemed to gobble it up. He didn't eat all the pork blood chunks though - pussaeeeey...just kidding. That's not really my thing either. Pork blood sauce, maybe. Or as they say to Phil-Am kids, chocolate meat. Anyway, the soup must have been good because he got it twice. Actually, the second time, he was going to get what I got, but since I ordered first, he got the soup instead.
The vermicelli with shrimp paste and egg roll. Nice garnish. Pickled carrot and lots of peanuts and green onions. The eggrolls were good. Noodle, carrot, pork. Nice and hot and crispy. The nuoc mam that came with it was okay, but kinda too sweet. But I dump mine in the bowl of vermicelli anyway, with siracha so it's fine. The shrimp paste was a bit disappointing. It tasted good. It had that pureed spongy texture with cilantro and stuff. But it was cut off the sugar cane into long strips. Part of the pleasure of eating the shrimp paste is sucking the flavor from the sugar cane that it is "skewered onto". Harumph! Oh well, it was a good dish.
The spring roll. They were not the monster sized ones like at Saigon. They were good - but I don't remember so much because I ate half of mine, then the other food came, then the FP snatched up the other half of my spring roll and ate it. The peanut sauce was not too good, though.
It was like dunking your spring roll in peanut butter. So this needed some fish sauce and soy sauce. Unfortunately, I dumped too much fish sauce in my little ramekin so it was salty.
The vermicelli with lemongrass & cayenne beef. Now this was a damn good dish! The beef was so good! Lemongrassy, and peppery and just yum yum yummy! I could go for this right now.
I'm pretty damn hungry. God, I hate writing food blog when I'm starving. It's pretty torturous practice. Not to stray from the subject (because I never commit that sin), but here's what I ate yesterday; a delicious hot dog with mustard, a bit of ketchup, sauerkraut and fluorescent green relish from Home Depot at 9 am. Around 12 pm I took a couple of bites of a chocolate pot de creme at work. At 4 pm I had a about 2 ounces of a tomato gazpacho I had made. At 7 pm I had a 3 oz dollop of mashed potatoes and about 3 oz of thresher shark with lemon and extra virgin olive oil drizzle. At 8:05 pm I had a bowl of wild organics blueberry and flax cereal with vanilla soy milk. At 9:20 pm I had a heath bar klondike bar, very melty, and a few tortilla chips and maybe 2 or 3 of them with some salsa chileana salsa.
Sometimes when I get beef with bun, it's marinated weird. Like it's spices that seem like they are meant for the pork. I know, there aren't rules for pork and beef, but there are things that go together better than others. Like beef shouldn't be marinated in sweet stuff as much as pork - for my taste. But this beef did not have that weird identity complex thing going on at all. Plus it was nicely cooked, not all chewy and gristly either like it sometimes can be. Just a really lovely dish.
So yeah, go to Nhu Y, it's a bit more pricey, like $.50 - $1.50 more for typical menu items, but I think it's worth it. At least for now I think so. In a year, I might be thinking differently.
Oh and hopefully I will start getting back to posting more pictures. It's a long story...so I better start telling it now. So 2 weeks ago, the FP dropped his razor phone on the concrete and broke it in half. So I found my really old cheap mexican green screen nokia that he used for 2 days until the juice ran out. It was amazing that it lasted for that long. And of course I think I threw the charger away for that one. But then, I was due for an upgrade for my phone. So the FP picked out a phone and I ordered it. But he ordered the shittiest phone. It's a Nokia color screen. But shitty. No camera. Sometimes you push the select button and it doesn't register. And then I lent my camera to Mr HRFM's friend who was visting last week. So I had my phone sometimes when we went out to eat, but you can only save about 10 pictures on it. So I have trouble trying to take pictures on my camera. That's why there aren't pictures of everything we ate. Also, when we get our food, the FP is ready to devour everything in sight, so I feel pressure to try to take the pictures before he digs in, and he is a very impatient person when it comes to eating. So anyway, I have the digital camera again. So if I can remember to put it in my purse, I'll be taking pictures of food again. HRFM and his friend were laughing because they were looking at the pictures on my camera, and it's 80% food, 20% perfect blue pictures.....