Kirk K

Kirk K is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

The Bun Bo Hue Dossier

Sorry you had a bad meal marybethabate, though I've never had the Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong there, that's not really a Hue type of dish. Years ago, I recommended Mien Trung to someone from Hue, this is her email to me: "My sisters and I only get together about once a year and usually it is during the Thanksgiving week. This past month, I forwarded your post about Mien-Trung restaurant to my sisters with a short message "we will go here when you come". Last Sunday, the three of us excitedly got to Mien-Trung. You should have heard the way we ooohed and aaahed at each item while looking at the restaurant menu (You probably would have thought we had not eaten real food in years). We ordered a feast of bun bo Hue (special large bowl of course), bun rieu, banh nam, banh bot loc, and banh beo. What a tasty lunch we had. The bun-bo at Mien Trung tasted exactly like it is supposed to taste. The banh beo tasted like the afternoon snacks I used to eat at food stands in central Vietnam over thirty years ago. But the star of the meal was the banh bot loc, we absolutely loved the generous portion of the filling, its slightly chewy dough, and how they used meat broth rather than plain water to flavor the dough. After the meal, I got up to pay but what I really wanted was to hear the cashier’s accent so I could locate his origin. Unfortunately, the cashier was a high school age young man who spoke to me in 100% California accented English. As we leave, my sister pointed to the TV and asked the older gentleman behind the cashier about the DVD that was playing in the background. He answered back in his perfect Hue accent. All three of us sisters agreed that there had to be a Hue woman cooking in the kitchen." So no, it's not everyone's cup of tea. But I'm glad you tried it.
— November 13, 2011 3:23 p.m.