Am on a quarterly schedule with a lot of friends - not bad or good, just is so. Actually, I think that an awful lot of folks run on that sort of calendar due to life changes, etc. At holiday time, it gets worse. Family issues strike, even more so. Anyway, one of the brighter sparks in my life that'd been somewhat reduced to a distant glimmer, came back into the foreground lunchtime today*. Enjoyed the food, particularly enjoyed the company.
Generally, we opt for Asian food of some sort, so decided on the relatively new pho place around the block and down the street from me. Now, I like them; have found the basics that I like and that should be good to be perfectly fine**. He gets out a bit more than I do to such restaurants, so was curious about his take on things. Started off with the summer rolls and an order of tod mun***. Was first off charmed that the fish cakes were obviously made by hand, hot and fresh. The sauce was wonderfully perfumed with citronella and coriander. Could feel myself smiling automatically at the taste. Nothing to complain about on the summer rolls, either, save that we couldn't eat all of what they'd given us in order to save room for the soup.
My friend had the pho ga (chicken), while I had bo vien (beef with meatballs). I think he was happy with his; I know that I enjoyed mine. Heck, didn't even feel the need to spice it up with pepper paste or the sweet sauce. Just enjoyed it nature, with the fresh basil and sprouts. As we'd been debating pronunciation of the name, got the definitive answer from the waitress: [fə], just like the French feu****.
Lunch over, time to get back to life. Should get out more to see folks, to lunch in general. Glad that there's a pretty good so far Vietnamese place in the neighborhood. They're actually kind of few and far between north of the Charles.
* Am trying my darndest to not reference flickering shadows on a cave wall.
**Summer rolls, bun, Vietnamese crepe. The last is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I think theirs is particularly luscious.
***A serious favorite of mine, but always fraught with hazard. Have ordered this in much more expensive restaurants and have been served what seemed like fish sticks served with a dipping sauce.
****I've read that the pho comes from 'pot au feu.' Makes sense. Come to think of it, most of the soups I make tend to be less French soups than pots au feu; in fact, unless I make something specifically French like an Onion Soup or a veloute, we generally call it pot au feu.