If we were skiing down a black diamond hill in the Alps, and we hit a tree trunk and blacked out unconscious and woke up buried in a snowdrift with no use of our legs and an aneurysm that was slowly filling our skull with blood, it would all be A-OK—if only a St. Bernard rescue dog was standing over us with a barrel of St. Bernardus Abt 12 around his neck, the spigot frothing forth.
Part of the fun of eating Vietnamese is shrouded in adventure: Chomping on ingredients you can’t find at a burger or pizza shack, like an icy drink made with crushed, exotic fruits or a dish of sweet cakes flavored with tuber pulp. Feeling particularly exploratory, I set my compass toward a fairly new restaurant, Pho Saigon, on East Central. I actually went in for dinner the second day it was open in February, but I didn't know it. I remember thinking the service was flawless and the food well-prepared—not hallmarks of a place that's been in business for 48 hours.
Nowadays, food travels in the neighborhood of 1,200 to 1,500 miles to get to your supermarket. Stir in frightening farming methods and rocketing gas prices, and the kiwis in your cart start to look a lot hairier, don't they?