Some people have a summer song, a song that they listen to repeatedly and loudly throughout the warm months. These are the songs that, when playing on their iPod shuffle, will remind them of good summer times for years to come. Me? Not so much. I'm way too sonically shifty to pick a song that will work for a whole season. And, anyway, I'd rather pick a food.
This summer, my food of choice is bun, a delicious Vietnamese combination of chilled rice noodles, crisp lettuce, salty clear sauce, savory hot protein, and crunchy veggies. Traditionally, pork products occupy the protein space in this dish, but at my favorite bun seller, Saigon, you can order the bun with grilled tofu. Check it out in this fuzzy picture:
Saigon serves bun in unassuming and not necessarily matching Corning bowls - some even with little Halloween cats on them (love it!). They remind me of my childhood, an appropriate medium for this comfort food.
As the omnivorous half of this bun-obsessed couple, Ben usually gets some combination of grilled chicken or pork and/or a fried spring roll, as below:
Strict vegetarians be warned: that awesome sauce on the side has fish sauce in it. Ask your server for some rice-wine vinegar, spike it with some of the tabletop sriracha and maybe a little soy sauce, and use that as a fish-free topping.
Saigon is closed on Tuesdays, so that's one less day that I obsess about getting my summer dish of 08.