Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Sad news first: the wonderful little grocery store that was the Eden Center-piece has gone out-of-business after twenty-three years. Today, when we passed by, the windows were all plastered over with Vietnamese newspaper inserts. Why? Did the store get run out of the Asian grocery market by competitors? Did the owners reach retirement age and opt to simplify their lives? The handwritten cardstock signs shed no explanatory light, only thanking the community in Vietnamese and English for decades of patronage. I feel guilty for having only entered the store twice. The first time it was jammed full of food and wine, canned tropical juices, pepper and fish sauces, tea, and kitchenware. I identified plenty of things I'd planned to return for later. The other time I was there the shelves were bare, as they were obviously set on selling out. We bought two boxes of black tea because I was offered the second one free. Now the store is gone. The happy news is that we had a great meal at Four Sisters (which Sunshine has taken to calling by its Vietnamese name, Huong Que, which means I never know where she is talking about, anymore). I had a large bowl of chive soup and some crispy spring rolls. The way Sunshine has been instructed to eat spring rolls: first, pinch off a leaf or two of the provided basil and mint sprigs; then wrap them, with the fried roll, in one of the provided lettuce leaves. Dunk this green tube into the fish sauce (another thing Sunshine always says in Vietnamese now: nước mắm) and dine. The idea of further wrapping these things had never occurred to me, possibly because as an American, I expect green leaves on any plate without a salad to be purely ornamental. [Cavin]

Then, a 3 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:

Awesome! I can't wait to try this next time I eat Vietnamese. By the way, aren't you going to get tired of all this Vietnamese food before you ever even get there?

Thursday, June 21, 2007 9:55:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Meh. I don’t really get tired of foods. I used to eat Mexican food, at a place actually called “Monterrey”, every day for lunch before I quit my job and moved to Monterrey. What is probably true about the Vietnamese we’re eating is that it’ll be a lot different from what we get in Ho Chi Minh City. What I know to be true of that city is that all types of food (except possibly Mexican) are widely available. So we go to Eden Center for the learning environment (and the food’s good) and we’re not too concerned about being fed up with it before reaching Vietnam.

Friday, June 22, 2007 2:58:00 AM  
To which Blogger Ellie added:

Yeah, I was being a bit cheeky. I would LOVE to eat vietnamese everyday. I rarely get to really delve into a certain type of food so i end up eating the same thing everytime I go. But if I was to eat it more often, I could really explore some of the different offerings.

Friday, June 22, 2007 7:32:00 PM  

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