Pages

Sunday, March 14, 2010

rainy sunday at eden center


On this rainy Sunday, we visited our local Vietnam-in-Virginia, Eden Center. Here one finds a dizzying collection of all things Vietnamese, from fine crisp spring rolls to beautiful gold bracelets, every variety of hot pepper paste to delicate satin slippers...

Lunch at Huong Viet was so good and already has me dreaming of a return visit! Jamison ordered an incredible shrimp dish (Tom Cang Kho Tau) with jumbo, heads-on shrimp grilled to perfect, smoky sweetness in a tangy light caramel sauce, served with a bright lotus-carrot salad and rice cakes:


My dish, Banh Cuon Cha Lua, was also very good, and all about the play of its textures--silky "pork delicacy", rice crepes, and crispy mung bean cakes:
Well fortified (and buzzing from our very sweet iced coffees), on to browsing the always fun Song Que Deli:
Ostensibly full, we shared a serving of ginger ice cream anyway, influenced by all of the pastel, happy treats surrounding us in this pretty shop!
This golden pig adorned a jeweler's window:
There are so many places to explore here! Some additional treats:
Bubble tea paradise:
A banh mi bento for Monday, with a yummy version from Banh Mi So One, Thai basil, sliced cucumber as baran. Sriracha and mayo are blended in the yellow pepper along with a basil sprig. Starfruit, blueberries, papaya, strawberries and an exciting score from this weekend's produce shopping: Cara Cara oranges (per Sherimiya's recent post) add color and juicy sweetness:
All of this recent rain should nurture young green plants...here's the first daffodil I've seen in bloom:


11 comments:

hapabento said...

Banh mi presented like no other! And a delightful tour of Eden. Thanks for taking all of us along.

Lia Chen said...

Banh mi bento looks so delicious! So satisfy with all the pictures. And that flying golden piggy is so cute ... hahaha they put it for luck, doesn't it?

bentobird said...

Thank you hapabento! It is such a pleasure to have you join in these excursions :)

bentobird said...

Hi Lia! Yes--I thought of it as a good luck/prosperity symbol, too. Loved its happy expression!

KatyCrayon said...

I've been seeing banh mi quite a bit lately! It looks so tasty but alas, no Vietnamese delis in my area! Do you ever make your own?

bentobird said...

Hiya Katy! Thanks for your visit. The good news is, you can totally made your own! The wonderful Viet World Kitchen blog offers a great "foundation" recipe to start with: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2009/06/banh-mi-sandwich-recipe.html
I had fun making a spicy salmon version a while back: http://bentobird.blogspot.com/2009/11/ginger-salmon-bento-for-two.html

Susan Yuen said...

Ooooh, the food looks so delish and your bahn mi bento is beautiful! Very pretty!

bentobird said...

Hi Susan! Thanks so much--hope your Tuesday is off to a great start, dear :)

megan said...

what a fun day! you really know how to make the most of this weather :-) wish i could eat that vietnamese food right off the screen, and that i had "delis" like that near me! and the bento is one of the nicest interpretations of bahn mi i've seen yet... bahn mi itself is so tasty but can be bland to look at (just a big piece of clunky beige)... you've made it sing!

bentobird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bentobird said...

hi gamene! Thanks! It really was a fun outing--all the bright exotic colors and flavors were a great counterpoint to soggy grayness! I'd love to clone Song Que and send one your way--I think you'd enjoy its happy, lighthearted vibe (and edible treats)!
So NY got quite an intense storm this weekend--wow! Did you guys stay indoors (perhaps that's when you made the glorious butterfly bento)? My mom described the wind just howling around her house, and how after the rain stopped, there was a long period of incredibly loud thunder!