Jan 11, 2007

Soup and beers

The great thing about our new hotel was it's location (and it's upscale silence). Right next to "Tin Alley" and surrounded by street food vendors, cafes and restaurants it was a sidewalk foodies ground zero. Not really a touristy area but great access to all the things we wanted to do. An example of nearby would be this bowl of Pho, walking for a minute put you on it's front sidewalk. Considered by most to be a very famous bowl in this city, people line up for up to an hour to get a bowl. We wandered in almost by accident and got some bowl's right away. Lovely! When I ordered up the bowls of Pho Tai-Chin (15,000 Dong per) in true "Hanoian-style" the meat carver/matron of the joint/money-minder/gruff old gal with the sharp knife said "Money first" without a smile. A bowl of noodles and broth without associated greenery or beef for the boys cost 5,000 Dong. When Keegan and Evan started wandering around the crowded shop the old gal finally cracked a smile and even handed over some freebies to the boys. By the time we left she was all smiles and waves. Hilarious.

Right across the street from the center of the Pho universe was a conveniently located "Bia Hoi". A great place to sit down and watch the world go by at 4,000 Dong per draught glass, no charge for the complimentary shell-em-yerself peanuts. This beer is light and fresh, super fresh. Google it.

Need a cheap pint, well at 25 cents per glass you can't do much better. Wanna throw a wedding stag? The money saved from all the boys drinking Bia Hoi as compared to some fancy-pants N. American bar would probably pay for everyone to fly to Vietnam and find a red plastic stool and peanuts. Ok, maybe not but it's an interesting idea nonetheless. ;-)