In the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain
I have a major crush on Anthony Bourdain (girl likes assholes who cook) and was thrilled to learn that he has filmed several episodes of No Reservations in Vietnam. The man loves Vietnam. The man loves Vietnamese food. You know who else does? Yours truly.
So, the number one thing I had to do in Saigon a few weeks ago was pay tribute with a visit to The Lunch Lady.
The Lunch Lady’s restaurant is a classic street joint, plastic chairs and tables on a shady sidewalk. She serves one type of soup each day from a metal rolling cart. When I was there, the soup contained tapioca noodles (odd and tasty); liver (tastes like iron); pork hock (blaze orange and gives the broth its fatty flavor); quail eggs (perfect); little round mushrooms (nom nom); and prawns (how I love thee). I’m not clear on the name of the soup but I think it is either banh canh or Hu tieu nam vang.
Find The Lunch Lady at 23 Hoang Sa, District 1.
If you are curious about the banh xeo place in the episode of No Reservations, it is called Banh Xeo 46. I’ve tried to go there both times I’ve been in Saigon but it has been closed both times, probably because I’ve only been there for holidays. The address of Banh Xeo 46 is 46 Dinh Cong Trang.