Monday, 28 May 2012

Bonjour Vietnam

One of the things that I'm trying really hard not to do is have a fatal overdose of cream and butter based sauces. It's really hard, but I am determined not to get sick of French food.

In previous, shorter visits, I've gotten too excited about a list of places that I had to try. Duck with blue cheese and steak with bordeaulaise and delicate pike dumplings in a cream sauce. It's all so good, but no one can eat like that for long without either having to buy a seatbelt extender for the plane ride home or perhaps getting gout. I always find I can take it for a few days, and then I get the craving for a spicy curry, a vegetable stirfry, just something with a bit more spice and, sigh, less butter. It's maddening.

So we've been quiet on the French food scene knowing that it will be available to us for a long while now, and maybe we should limit it to once a week or something. I don't have a full kitchen yet, but I've been making salads and simple dishes to go with the really good bread I get every day. Nice and light and a good way to try all the interesting produce, but eating at home isn't the most exciting way to experience the city.

The first time I got a craving for noodles was impulsive. There's a pretty big block of Japanese places nearby, and I picked a random one based on the fact that it looked clean and it wasn't too crowded.

Big mistake.

I got shrimp Udon, but there was something really weird about it. The fact that it was topped with a pancake of fries that were quickly sopping up the broth and becoming really unappealing and sad should have clued me in that perhaps this isn't the best place to get my noodle fix. It's really hard to move from New York, with it's abundance of really excellent ethnic food, to a place that seems to take them seriously at all. Kind of depressing.

No worries though...the internet saves the day. We found a great little Vietnamese place in the Latin Quarter called Bonjour Vietnam.


Really nice noodles that I don't have to gripe about how much I miss my haunts in NYC. Which I do. Just not as much now.


They had imitation Sriracha, but I won't hold that against them. I haven't seen the real-deal hot sauce at all here, but I'm pretty good at searching these things out.


It was exactly what we needed as we had been holding out hope that we would find a good place for Asian food since we first conceived of moving here. It was like a big bowl of anti-anxiety noodles, with a good clear broth and veggies and a few slices of beef on top. Nom.

It's the perfect anecdote to all the good French food that we are about to eat.

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