Welcome to Brunette à Bicyclettea collection of thoughts, photos, and videos; my digital scrapbook of the people and places I’ve come to love, wherever I happen to be (currently, that’s Washington, DC).
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Tag Archives: Vietnamese food
Buds are appearing on branches here as little bulbs timidly peek out of the ground. As though to remind us that we’re still days away from the first day of spring, we plunged back into a cold spell. I reluctantly reached for my down jacket and gloves as we headed out to the farmers market. However impatient I am for spring, the cold weather gave me the perfect excuse to go explore a little place in neighborhood that has intrigued me for a while. Continue reading
Don’t let it’s less-than-photogenic appearance dissuade you. This stuff is seriously good. Tomatoes aren’t something I generally associate with Vietnamese food, but now I’ve officially given up on trying to pin down this cuisine. What do I know? Continue reading
Back in Southern California to visit family, I was reminded of how spoiled we are in this part of the country. The climate is ideal, with an abundance of herbs and fresh produce all year long. As we walked through the farmers’ market, Z remarked that Washington DC just doesn’t come close in terms of price or variety. Despite the incredible stone fruit in summer and the incomparably crisp and juicy apples we get in the fall, I have to agree with him. It’s hard not to get a little homesick for amazing avocadoes, meaty artichokes and the fresh cusine that California is so famous for. Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_1161" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Banh mi at Chez Yu[/caption]
I am a great admirer of the french sandwich. There are few things as simply satisfying as a well made jambon beurre (especially if it’s jambon de pays) on a perfectly baked tradition. But sometimes I need to mix things up, and the only thing that will do is a freshly-made banh mi. I wrote about some of my favorite, and least favorite, spots for banh mi in Paris a while back, but I’ve since discovered a couple more that I’d like to share with you. Continue reading
It’s by no means an understatement to call le sandwiche an institution in France. If people aren’t sitting down to a long lunch at a resto or café, they’re almost invariably nibbling on (or wolfing down) some sort of sandwich, the sale of which constituted a 6.62 billion euro industry last year. Le Figaro recently called le jambon beurre (ham and butter sandwich) “le sandwiche de la crise.” (Read it in English here). This cheap, grab-and-go staple, as well as sandwiches in general are rising in price due to increased food costs. On verra ce que ça va donner. Grève nationale?
So, I thought I’d add another sandwiche bon marché contender into the mix — the banh mi. Now, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m an avid fan of these sandwiches. Banh mi just never seem to get old. They’ve been the object of many a bike/subway trek in just about every city I’ve lived in, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Growing up right next to Little Saigon will do that to you, I suppose. They’ve become all the rage in the US, a trend that has my full support. The result of the melding of French and Vietnamese tastes during the colonial period — a wonderful byproduct of a rather dark era — Paris and banh mi seemed a natural fit. (If you’re interested, this WSJ article gives a short history). Continue reading
Few short-term visitors make it past a select few DC institutions, like Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U St NW Washington, DC and inside Nationals Stadium), which are beloved by both locals and tourists, Obama, Bill Cosby, and yes even Sarko & Ms. Bruni. I wouldn’t commit such a cardinal sin as to bad mouth the half-smoke, but one can’t live on chili dogs alone. Other popular ones are the Old Ebbit Grill (675 15th St., NW) the various locations of the Jose Andres empire, and Marvin (2007 14th St), which I found to be overhyped after a few visits (the mere presence of bechamel, ham, and bread on a plate does not a croque make). So, as a follow-up to my DC Like a Local Part I, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite places to eat off the tourist track. Continue reading
I usually come back to Southern California, where I grew up, to visit my family during the holidays. While most people are at the mall frantically shopping for gifts for everyone on their list, you can find me at the various restaurants and grocery stores, eating my way through California Mexican and Vietnamese food and stocking up on everything I can’t get in Paris. Every time I come back, I’m reminded of all the things I will always love and miss about this area of the US.
Now, the Mexican and Vietnamese dining scene here has been meticuously documented, and there are tons of great sites to get you started if you’re hungry and in the area. I’m not going to try to compete with their exhaustive and impressive efforts. Instead, I’ve included some at the bottom of this post and I’d like to take you on one of my typical shopping/eating trips for necessities. Continue reading