Le Cinq de Mai

It defies logic, but I actually don’t love Mexican food.

It’s got melty cheese (drool), fatty meat (adore), fatty fruits (guaca-lovely), and crunchy salty things (my kryptonite), but for some reason, when put together, Mexican just isn’t something that makes my mouth water.  (Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy it and wouldn’t turn it down!  But it doesn’t top the ethnic-foods hierarchy for me.)

No, the top place in that hierarchy belongs to Vietnamese food.

A couple of summers ago, I spent a few weeks in Vietnam and dammit, if I wouldn’t go right the hell back.

Vietnam is a broke foodie traveler’s paradise.  Gorgeous beaches, cheap beer, awesome French-influenced food.  I’ll endure crappy roads and 20-hour bus rides all the live-long day for that.

(Also, I loved traveling in Vietnam  because everyone there speaks French.  I cannot speak French, but I did study it in high school and have apparently retained just enough vocabulary to believe that I can speak it.  Especially after an afternoon of consuming strong drinks that cost less than a value-menu Chalupa.)

Anyway.  I’ve always loved Vietnamese food, but that trip cemented its place in my heart.

So tonight, I turned down the fried chips and seven-layer-dips and made myself a delicious – and healthy! – Vietnamese dinner.

Recipe: Bun Tom Heo Nuong (Prawn Vermicelli Salad)

Crazy name aside, this dish is actually super simple and – and! – beautifully showcases the flavor of fish sauce. Because this recipe calls for a lot of it. But I promise, it tastes nothing like the weird smelly stuff that comes out of the jar. Fish sauce is magic when mixed with sugar and lime.

While pondering dinner, I decided to give that Triangle Brewing Company Belgian White Ale another shot.

I first tried this beer on Easter Sunday, while in a Champagne-and-maple-syrup-induced coma.  I didn’t care for it then, but vowed to give it fair shot another day.

Today, I approached it with an untainted palate and bolstered it with a fat slice of juicy orange.  And it was much better.  If you like Blue Moon-type beers, you’d love this one.  I don’t know how widely available it is though – I’d never heard of Triangle Brewing until recently!

Today’s run was nothing remarkable, but I popped out for a quick 5+ miles after belatedly wrapping up a project.  At 70* and sunny with low humidity, it was gorgeous running weather!

Happy Cinq de Mai!   Also, pas des phoques sur les bicyclettes!

A street sign in Ho Chi Minh City.  No seals on bicycles…?

Your guess is as good as mine!


20 responses to “Le Cinq de Mai

  1. I can’t believe you don’t like Mexican food! I am a total sugar junkie and never crave savory things…except when it comes to Mexican! Omg! I can eat it every day. 😉

    I’ve never tried Vietnamese foods but it looks tasty to me!

  2. Mexican food > everything else.

    That looks like a car seat or something similar for a baby on the back of that bike…

  3. It’s in my DNA to love Mexican food. I don’t think I could live without things like beans and tortillas. I once gave up tortillas for Lent. I thought it would be an interesting experiment. I had three different dreams about eating tortillas. A friend joked that it made sense since my ancestors have survived on tortillas for years.

    Your dinner looks delicious. Makes me think I should spend more time in Westminster (Orange County), aka Little Saigon.

  4. I don’t like Mexican food either. People are always so offended. I’m just like, really? not like Mexican food is THAT big a deal to you? Must be nice not to have a life.

  5. i like mexican but mostly because of the guac!

    and i wanted to give a shout-out to triangle brewing – i love their triangle belgian golden ale so much – probably my favorite local brew. YUM.

    • I’ve never tried that one. In fact, I’d never tried any of their beers until I picked up this six-pack! I’ll keep an eye out for it!

  6. I think it’s one of those baby carrier things…no babies on bikes? It does look like a seal though. Are there seals in Vietnam? Please excuse my ignorance if clearly there are not. I love love mexican food, never had Vietnamese that I can recall, looks delicious though!

    • There are probably seals in Vietnam! There’s a lot of coastline… and there are a LOT of babies (whole families, even) on bikes! Haha.

  7. Your pictures make me want to head back to Hoi An immediately! And I thought we discussed that it’s definitely a No Rickshaw/Tuk-Tuk sign.

  8. I’ve actually never had Vietnamese food. Another one of those “plans” that never actually happened. Because I’ve been wanting to give it a shot!

  9. OOh man that dish that you made looks amazing….

    Last night I went to mexican with my roommate and my man. The line at the mexican place was so long, I wanted to force them to go to Thai food with me, but I realized that wouldn’t have been in the spirit of the Cinco.

  10. I loved Vietnam! We have been toying with how we could move there for a few years, no solid ideas yet though.

  11. Haha I feel like that’s what would happen to me if I ever went to Italy, I would totally think I could speak it.

  12. YAY cinq de mai. i speak french and whenever i try to speak spanish (aka 2 years of college) i apparently speak it with a french accent. funny.

    have you ever seen the movie indochine? it’s in french (but probs with subtitles) and i think you’d like it. maybe. don’t hate me if you don’t.

    and i like mexican okay. but it’s like a law to have it on cinco de mayo. toe the line here girl 😉

  13. I WANT TO GO TO VIETNAM. Wah. Your blog gives me food, drink, and travel envy.

    But I love you anyway and can’t wait to race (okay, run) the BK half with you in 2 weeks 🙂

  14. While I do LOVE Mexican food… I also am a huge fan of Vietamese food, Pho is my jam. It is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. I’m actually going to try and make it at home this week…I fear it wont come close, but dammit I’ll try.

  15. Pingback: Pad Thai « Leftovers For Lunch

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