FOOD (one of our favorite topics!)
When you read the book *coming out in December- woot!*, you’ll notice Dad talks a LOT about the food in Vietnam. He goes into the Army provided rations, the local fruits and vegetables and the taco stand. Yes, the taco stand. In Vietnam.
So during our usual Thursday lunch meeting, I suggested a new place. An aside about Dad, you will see that he was very adventurous with food in his younger days. Now, not so much. He finds a place, decides he likes it, and wants to go there EVERY week. Sometimes I have to throw out different suggestions. 95% of the time, he loves them. If I go too outside of the box, it’s a failure. There is a great fusion taco place in downtown Fayetteville. You don’t take a 75 year old man that’s been raised on traditional Mexican food to a fusion taco place. “Tacos?! These aren’t tacos!” he said, quite loudly. He feasted on their side orders of chicken wings and fries that day.
I digress. I decided to try out of the box again, and I found a Vietnamese restaurant that had good reviews. While I know that my dad LOVES Asian food, especially Thai food, we have never had Vietnamese food together. I was worried that it might trigger something.
We got to the place and Dad studied the menu. I knew what I wanted- Bahn Mi. For the amount of Vietnamese restaurants Fayetteville has, they don’t usually serve Bahn Mi, so finding it here was a treat. (Bahn Mi is a sandwich- pickled veggies, usually pork, and some heat- peppers). I opted for their Chicken Bahn Mi and he decided to try Bun Bo Xao (vermicelli steak). As we waited, I asked him if he had eaten any Vietnamese food in Vietnam.
He replied, “Well not really. There were no restaurants, except in the bigger bases like Long Binh, but we were never near the big bases except to fly in and out. We mostly ate our rations. When we were near Michelin, there were some locals that sold ham and cheese sandwiches. I was skeptical at first, but some of the guys in my platoon ordered them. They were $2 or $3. I laughed when I saw the sandwiches, when they were delivered by a young boy on a bike. They were white bread, with slices of ham and cheese. We figured they were somehow breaking into one of the food supply points and stealing their supplies. I ordered them occasionally, when I just wanted something different than rations.”
Dad and I will always bond over food. Except fusion tacos.