Hanoi - Chopsticks for Real

So instead of the standard traveler spork/knife combo, I have traveled with chopsticks. They're easier to clean, less likely to break, and they're cooler. But traveling with them through LatAm was admittedly a bit weird and even useless: most of the food down there is finger food (lomito sandwiches, empanadas), at least the food I was ordering. The suckers came in handy when I started trekking and had limited access to washing. Now, in Asia, the sticks came in handy once again.

My first week in food involved multiple orders of the same three dishes: pho, rice noodle rolls, and bun cha, which is grilled pork. Most of my adventures into food have been thanks to Anh from Banhmi11. I mapped out most of the locations and have visited roughly half, mostly due to the fact that I keep returning to the places I've liked over and over again.

First real meal in Hanoi
This place was awesome. The rice noodles are my most favorite thing -- I'm a sucker for carbs. Located about 15minute walk from old quarter, the family greeted me with less than a smile but just started bringing food to the table. Unidentified meat on the blue plate is tasty but it reminds me a bit of Spam. I still ate it all (surprised?). Soon after snapping this and the following photo, I received a sizzling bowl of the bun cha with pork patties as well. No photo of that. My chopsticks went into overdrive and I ate all of it before looking up from my bowl. 

Banh Cuon Gia
Hang Ga, Hanoi
If you want the exact/real directions, ping me and I'll dig them up.

This dish beats any mainstay of Vietnamese cuisine.
This bowl of pho is unreal. I have been to this particular restaurant three times, including once for dinner followed by lunch the next day. Adding a little bit of spice to it still doesn't make the dish overly flavorful, but I find the broth and noodle combination completely addicting. These guys also make a mean rice noodle dish.
Pho Ga
The assembly station

Banh cuon Ky Dong
11 Tong Duy Tan, Hanoi

As I write this, I'm digesting a lovely meal from this evening that included chao, which is the Vietnamese version of congee, and quay, fried dough--need I say more? Dribble drool. I was too preoccupied with eating that I didn't snap one photo. The good news is that the place I had dinner has a spot in HCMC, where I'm headed in a few days.

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