Saxby’s cafe crema is one of my favorite drinks this summer. The first time I had it (early in the summer), I fell in love with it right away. Although it was way too sweet and way too creamy, I loved the boldness of the coffee. After watching the barista making it, I made a few tweaks to the original recipe for my own taste. Here’s the instructions:
- Fill the large up (20oz) with ice even over the top
- Add 2 (instead of 5 in the original recipe) pumps of vanilla syrup
- Add 5 fresh-brew shots of expresso (the extra ice helps cool down the expresso)
- Add a bit of Half and Half cream on top
For the past two months, I have to have my Sautéed Lobster in Shell with Salt & Pepper once a week. The owner and servers now recognized me. The waitress knew exactly what I was going to order as soon as I stepped into the place.
Last week, she said, “Anh order tom rang muoi voi chai Tsingtao phai khong? (You want lobster and a Tsingtao, right?)” I replied, “Lobster thoi khong co Tsingtao. (Lobster yes, but not Tsingtao.)” She mocked, “Wow, hom nay sao hien vay? (Wow, why being so good today?)” I smiled, “Con phai di lam nua chu. (I have to get back to work after lunch.)”
The lobster came out and it was delicious as always, but something was missing. I called her over and said, “Ok give me the Tsingtao.” She brought it out and said, “Da quen vay roi. Thieu sao ma duoc. (You’re already used to it. Can’t just miss it.)” She was right and deserved a big tip.
Today I went back and tried something different: Lobster with tamarind sauce and a bottle of Bia 33. The tamarind sauce is decent, but not as savory as the salt and pepper. Still I had a very nice lunch. Love the Trinh Cong Son’s music playing in the background. The arrangement was simple and peaceful, which was perfect for the lazy afternoon. The singer sounded like Thuy Tien, but I was not sure. I asked both the waitress and the owner, but neither of them knew who the singer was.
Found this recipe in Reader’s Digest:
Author of Comfort Food Fix, [Ellie] Krieger tweeted that she spreads avocado on toast or with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
Here’s another good tip from RD:
By the time produce travels from its source to store shelves, it has lost many of its disease-fighting compounds. Buy fresh veggies locally or when in season. If not stick to to frozen, which is prepared at peak ripeness to lock in nutrients.
With last week’s three-day conference, I started eating out again. Check out the stack of Hoban’s Burger at James Hoban’s in Dupont Circle I had last week. The burger was pretty wicked.
On Monday I drove to Eden and had a plate of rice filled with roast duck, roast pig and BBQ pork at Cho Cu Sai Gon. Yesterday went back to Viet Royal for Sautéed Lobster in Shell with Salt & Pepper. I am now addicted to that dish. I think I can have it once week until I get tired of eating it.
Dana came over today to try out the burger at Wiinkys. We shared a double bacon burger and eight wings. Pretty good lunch, indeed. Now I need to get back to jogging as well, but that hasn’t happened. I had to take off my wedding ring because my finger is getting way too fat.
A friend’s wedding is coming up this weekend and then I’ll be heading to the Red Hat training all next week. It’s going to be more food and less jogging.
As mentioned last Friday, I invited my wife to lunch with me today, but she dissed me for her colleagues and didn’t even answered my call. Ouch! I was looking forward to it, but it’s all good though. I got a whole Sautéed Lobster in Shell with Salt & Pepper. This is perfect. Not too salty and not too messy, the lobster was perfect. If I want lobster, Viet Royal is the place to go.
After four days of eating healthy, I decided to treat myself to Eden Center. Headed to Viet Royal for Sautéed Lobster in Shell with Ginger and Scallion. The lobster is a bit small, but not bad at all.
My wife is heading back to work next week. Her maternity leave is up. To cheer her up, I’ll invite her out to lunch next week, maybe next Friday, to try out Sautéed Lobster in Shell with Salt & Pepper. I’ll probably like that better.
I have been lunching at Eden way too often lately. I am way too lazy to pack my salad, but I have no problem walking out to the freezing temperature and driving to Eden Center for food. Hai Ky Mi Gia’s bun mam (vermicelli with salted fish sauce) and bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup) for five dollars are bowl are just too damn irresistible.
Last Friday, I came back to the office and I smelled like, well, fermented fish sauce and durian. It had to be one of the worst combinations of Vietnamese best food and horrible smells. Luckily no one else was in the office.
Today I dropped by Rice Paper for a huge plate of com tam dac biet (broken rice special). It was not that great, but it sure filled me up. Should have headed straight back to work, but no, I have to have my durian smooth. So I went to Kim Phung Bakery to cop one. I told the lady what I wanted and she told her Mexican worker, “Uno sau rieng no bubble.” I was like, wow, she made an order in three languages.
Eden Center has sprung up two new, slightly upscale Vietnamese restaurants: Rice Paper and Vy Bistro. Unlike most eatery places in Eden that focused mostly on the food, these two paid some attention to decoration and presentation as well. The interior design is simpler and more modern. The plates and dishes aren’t like the one you can buy in a Vietnamese grocery store in the same strip.
The problem is that their menus aren’t too different from the rest of the places. Vy Bistro doesn’t offer anything unique. The waiter asked us if it was our first time there and he recommended bun bo Hue (Hue’s vermicelli soup) as one of its highlights so I ordered it. The soup, which was not piping hot, didn’t stand out. The portion was a bit small compared to other places around Eden Center.
Rice Paper does have a few unique dishes like the delicious appetizer Oc Len Xao Dua (Snails cooked in coconut milk). I also had Com Bo Luc Lac (Rice With Shaking Beef), but not that impressive. The beef is a bit overcooked. The service here needs some improvements though.
One of the perks of working closed to Eden Center is quite obviously for a food addict like me. For instance, I didn’t feel like having salad with grilled chicken for five days in a row, I drove seven minutes to Eden for a bowl of goat curry goat with noodle and a bottle of Bia 33 at Lacay. Before heading back to the office, I dropped by Song Que to pick up an avocado shake with boba. What can I say? It’s my Friday treat.
Goat curry at Lacay is like hamburger for me. I have to have it once in a while even though I feel extremely bloated and awful afterward and promise myself to have only once a year. Actually one of my New Year resolutions is to eat for one person instead of three. I haven’t been able to do so yet because I am on lunar calender. I have a couple more days to go before starting my resolution.
It seems as if the more I try to cut back on food the more I just wanted to eat and having convenient access to Eden only makes things worse. For example, I take Wilson Boulevard home everyday and everyday I get stuck in traffic right in front of Eden. I stare at the place and I could hear the voice in my head saying, “What the heck are you waiting for? Come one in.” So I bust a right and head straight to Thanh Son for fresh fried tofu. If I lucky I would catch the fresh batch right off the frying pan. The hot, slightly spicy with lemongrass flavor is just heaven sent.
The other day I met up with my wife and her sister for lunch and I suggested that we try out Rice Paper, a fairly new opening. It’s a bit upscale comparing to most joints in Eden, but what caught my attention was one of its appetizers dish: Oc Len Xao Dua (Snails cooked in coconut milk). I haven’t have this dish for so long. When I went back to Viet Nam about a decide ago, I used to take a nap in the afternoon just like everyone else. Around three thirty or four in the afternoon, I would hear a chanting from the street, “Ai an oc len xao dua khong?” (Who want snails cooked in coconut milk?) And every afternoon, I would order a dish. They were so good that I joked with the lady who sells the snails that I’ll have to married someone who can cook this dish for me as good as she does. She blushed.
Two new mix drinks I created this week I really dig. They both are simple to make and yet quite delightful.
3oz Appleton White Jamaica Rum
6oz Sanpellegrino Limonata (sparkling lemon beverage)
1oz simple syrup
Pour rum into a highball filled with ice. Add sparkling lemon beverage. Stir. Garnish with some chopped fresh mint leaves. Voila.
Donny’s Peach Iced Tea:
4oz Popeye’s Cane Sweeeet™ Iced Tea
4oz Hiram Walker Peach Flavored Schnapps
Pour iced tea into a highball filled with ice. Add peach flavored Schnapps. Stir. Garnish with a slice of peach in the drink. Enjoy.