Saturday, September 5, 2009

My shining star

I'll be honest here...I don't like where I live. There are several reasons, really, but one big one is the food. Coming from San Diego, where I could get any type of food I could imagine, in any part of the city, pretty much anytime, I struggle with my, shall we say...lack of in Bakersfield. Especially when you're not a big meat eater. Or fan of pickled tongue.

Other than las Salsas in Rosedale, the husband's and my favorite once-a-week-joint (which introduced us to my new all-time favorite appetizer, campechana), and a handful of good Mexican places, I'm not super impressed with the food here. It's all chain restaurants and fast food, with the occasional—and often great, but ridiculously overcrowded—original venture.

And then, one magical day, I found Saigon. In a little strip mall on Oak St., I found the perfect lunch spot. On half(or slow) days, I can order a beer and spend a while happily destroying the bowl of fried won ton strips and plum sauce they stick in front of me.

When I'm in a hurry, I call in for my #2, the special chicken noodle...or pho ga(Fuh, if you want to say it right). Which is, if I may, the best thing ever. If I'm having a bad day, it's soup for the soul. If I'm craving asian food, like pretty much always, it's healthy and filling. And if I'm hungover, it's pretty much the shining star in my dark little cloud of pity and nauseousness. It's a winner, no matter how you look at it.

I don't know the exact recipe, but it's a sweetened chicken broth, to which you add sliced chicken and bean thread-ish noodles, sliced onion, cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno and lime...Mmmmm. It makes everything better.

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