Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Limes in phở, lemons in soda: Nha Trang

Phở, oh how I love you phở. Continuing the Vietnamese food kick, I met up with SYB for lunch at Nha Trang on Baxter Street, where I promptly ordered the phở dac biet, a large bowl of slippery rice noodles swimming in a soup with brisket, eye of round, tendon, and tripe, and some beef balls I added in for good measure. From watching TL eat his phở when we were in Boston, I learned to squeeze in a ton of limes along with the hoisin and Sriracha sauces, creating a dark, beefy broth full of smoky, spicy, and sour flavors. Mmm.
Along with my heaping bowl of phở, I asked for a soda chanh muoi (salty lemon soda). Served as a can of seltzer and a few spoonfuls of preserved, salted lemon at the bottom of a cup of ice, you're meant to pour the seltzer over the sweet and salty lemon pieces and mix the whole thing up with a spoon. It's a really refreshing and uniquely Vietnamese beverage, and when I'm not looking for a caffeine hit from their strong coffees, I usually ask for this or the salted plum version.

Between the phở and the soda, however, that was a whole lot of liquid, and I walked out of the restaurant feeling a serious sloshing in my belly. Next time I know, only one or the other—not both.

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