The year was 1838 and the book by Charles Dickens was published, “Oliver Twist”. We all remember the sentence, “Please, sir, I want some more.” Soup, ah for a big bowl of steaming soup. It warms the soul and fills the belly. I think, pretty much everyone loves a delicious bowl of pure goodness.
This weekend we did not have the bitter cold that the rest of the nation experienced, however it was chilly and damp and well, it felt cold enough to us. In amongst our weekend errands, we made time for a date lunch. (you know, two people dressed up, eating in a crowded restaurant, thinking it is only the two of them?) We found the perfect little spot to enjoy a respite from the glare of chores. It was sparkling clean, a friendly place, reasonable prices and after only a couple of steps inside the restaurant, the aroma that had your salivating glands working. Yes, we had driven by several times in the past, Saturday was the day to park and go in. Yes, our kids have been encouraging us to give it a go for some time now. To be honest, Mr. Right has enjoyed Vietnamese Pho Soup before, it was me that was foot-dragging. I am overly cautious (read that as Nervous Nelly about msg) when trying a new restaurant. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess, I wrongly assumed it would be overly spicy with oodles of msg. I was wrong. I was very wrong.
We all have reasons for doing this or that. Because of extensive heart and diabetes history in Mr. Right’s family, we chose to stop eating meat over twenty years ago. Yes, before it became an issue, we decided long ago to take matters into our own hands and live a life aimed towards wellness and health. Because of me becoming so ill, we have given up sugar, dairy and gluten. We are trying to fashion our path in such a way as to live a long and healthy life full of great walks & bike rides, great food & belly laughs on the beach instead of taking pills and hanging out in doctor’s waiting rooms, painted a depressing sea-foam green, listening to soft elevator music.
We are extremely lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest. Since we live on the Pacific Rim, we have the luxury of dining on a vast array of Asian cuisine. Even, small, grab a quick-lunch places can be found with a nod towards Far East flavors. Saturday, we dined on Vietnamese Pho Soup.
The basic broth has an amazing balance of flavors, it is rich and full-bodied. Yes, many have a beef stock beginning. Who among us doesn’t need the health and comfort that comes from really rich, high quality stock?
If you have never tried Pho, I will share a bit of how it “works”. You are brought a platter of bean sprouts, Thai Basil, lime wedges and jalapeño pepper slices. Then your humongous bowls of broth and rice noodles are brought to your table. Along side our oodles of noodles, ours came with onions, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. Of course you can order yours to come with beef, chicken, tofu or seafood as well. You then, add your sprouts and lime and basil and jalapeño if you so choose. Some add a splash of hot spicy sauce or the sweetness of an oyster sauce.
I must admit while all that goodness and comfort fills you to the brim with health and happiness, the chop sticks can be a bit messy to try and eat soup. Yes, they bring a spoon. I think it just takes a bit of practice to figure out how to get all the noodles and veggies, broth and bits of goodness into your mouth with chop sticks. I am proof that it can be done. I added a special touch of flavor to my soup by dipping the tassel ends of my scarf into the broth. You of course do not need to add this special touch.
While the portions were enormous, I did not wish to have any more for that particular lunch date. However, I would gladly say another day, “Please, sir, I want some more.”