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Vietnamese Food

My boss is taking some of the employees out to lunch tomorrow; I think we are all up for promotions. The problem is that it’s at a Vietnamese restaurant and I’ve never eaten Vietnamese food (grew up poor and don’t eat out now). I have no idea what to order and don’t want to make an ass of myself in font of my boss and co-workers.

Can someone help me, please? I have no idea what any of the food is and if it's food that I'll have to eat with chopsticks (which I can't do).I’m not a fussy eater but I’m not big on anything overly spicy hot.


by Anonymousreply 6902/08/2013

Order vegetarian pho (pronounced fuh) and spring rolls.

by Anonymousreply 102/04/2013

Check out YT videos on how to use chopsticks - and practice with pencils or something. It's better to just use a fork vs. being clumsy with chopsticks, and don't make a scene about it. If someone teases you, just smile and shrug.

by Anonymousreply 202/04/2013

If you can't use chopsticks, just ask for a fork. Don't make a big deal about, just use a fork.

Everything will come with translucent noodles that have a kind of tart dressing they look plain, but are delicious.

There will be meat on a skewer that is like other kinds of meat on a stick. It won't have a sauce on it, that will be on the side.

My favorite is the roll dip. The outside is flaky and gets stuck in your teeth.

The menu will likely have picture so you can see what you're ordering.

Try and look it up online. You might get to see the menu before you go.

by Anonymousreply 302/04/2013

Don't use chopsticks. I am sure you will not be the only one not using chopsticks. Maybe you can talk to whoever you sit beside and ask what they are ordering and order the same thing. If you end up not liking it just say you had a big breakfast or are not feeling well and just leave it.

by Anonymousreply 402/04/2013

They Eat Horses, Don't They?

by Anonymousreply 502/04/2013

You can ask the waiter for recommendations as well.

by Anonymousreply 602/04/2013

Oh for heaven's sakes---the Vietnamese don't use chopsticks. OP, you will be given forks and spoons and order the spring rolls to start.

by Anonymousreply 702/04/2013

OP why don't you google Vietnamese Food and see what comes up?

by Anonymousreply 802/04/2013

Do you know what kind of Vietnamese restaurant, OP? If it's a pho restaurant, you might as well order pho, which is a noodle soup. Pho tai, served with thin slivers of beef, is a pretty basic option. If it's a casual restaurant, they'll probably have com thit nuong, which is rice and grilled meat and is a safe choice for someone who doesn't eat a lot of ethnic foods. And if it's a fancy restaurant, the dishes will most likely be served family style like in a Chinese restaurant, so you can just sample from what looks okay.

Don't worry about using chopsticks, no one at the restaurant is going to be offended if you ask for a fork.

by Anonymousreply 902/04/2013

Vietnamese food is not (generally) spicy at all! I don't care for pho myself, and usually order the noodles with pork. Be honest that you aren't comfortable with chopsticks, and use a fork. Vietnamese coffee is to die for by the way!

by Anonymousreply 1002/04/2013

Don't use chopsticks. If you haven't figured out how to use them, you'll just make yourself nervous for nothing.

I envy you and I hope you have a wonderful meal. Vietnamese food is a treat.

Go for pho or a banh. Bánh xèo is my favorite. Spring rolls are a delicious appetizer and be sure and dip them in the sauce. If you like coffee, Vietnamese coffee is great. Pho comes with different kinds of meat, so choose what you like.

by Anonymousreply 1102/04/2013

R11 - banh is a word used in a huge number of dishes, some savory and some sweet, and many very different from each other, so it's not exactly helpful to say 'go for a banh.'

by Anonymousreply 1202/04/2013

I have a Vietnamese restaurant that makes the best chicken pho. I got hooked on it when I was sick and wanted chicken soup. They took out the onions and anything they thought would upset my stomach.

I loved the lime flavor (I always squeeze extra lime), the noodles are perfect, the cilantro is actually good for an upset stomach, the crunchy sprouts are wonderful and the broth is to die for.

Good luck, OP. Like others have said goggle the restaurant and google images for it as well. You may see more that way. Also read reviews - they'll usually clue you in on the best dishes there.

by Anonymousreply 1302/04/2013

OP, relax and enjoy yourself, and don't be intimidated or flustered. Asking questions and being curious are impressive traits and your employer will see that you embrace new experiences and are not timid.

If conversation turns to travel and you are not well traveled, mention, if asked, the trip you are saving up for (some cool location, a specific city like Istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia or something).

Good luck!

by Anonymousreply 1402/04/2013

As R10 said, Vietnamese food, when brought to the table, is not particularly spicy. Just stay away from the red sauce condiment (sriracha, or whatever it is called in Vietnamese) and you should be fine.

by Anonymousreply 1502/04/2013

You just wanted to brag about your promotion, OP.

by Anonymousreply 1602/04/2013

Order a "bahn mi", which is just a sandwich!

The French occupied Vietnam for decades, and the Vietnamese have adopted the baugette as their own. A baguette sandwich can be eaten without chopsticks or drama, although you might find the flavors a bit unusual. Still good, though.

by Anonymousreply 1702/04/2013

NO PHO - you will make a mess eating soup.


Grilled pork or chicken over rice

THe crepe filled w/meat/seafood: t Vietnamese crepe/BANH XEO

by Anonymousreply 1802/04/2013

Dishes are usually shared in Asian restaurants so let other people decide what to order.

by Anonymousreply 1902/04/2013

beef with lemon grass - mmmmmmmm

I love spring rolls and Vietnamese coffee.

by Anonymousreply 2002/04/2013

R7, I think you must be thinking of Thai food. The Vietnamese certainly use chopsticks.

by Anonymousreply 2102/04/2013

Chichen pho lover here again - yea I forgot to mention - pho is a messy meal.

If people start bragging about their traveling and you don't travel - tell them you hope to start traveling as soon as you get over your art obsession. I mean art is just so expensive these days. And the insurance on it - phew!

by Anonymousreply 2202/04/2013


by Anonymousreply 2302/04/2013

Don't complicate it and order a lunch special, a combo plate of some kind.

by Anonymousreply 2402/04/2013

Tell your waitron to bring you a hot, juicy bowl of chó with traditional plum sauce.

Dine like a native!

by Anonymousreply 2502/04/2013

Id second the Pho. Delicious. But if you order it make sure you pronounce it correctly.

Pronounced "Fuh"

by Anonymousreply 2602/04/2013

summer rolls, the sort of egg roll that is not fried is popular as a starter. Pho, the beef broth with rice noodles and basil leaves you dunk is is also popular. there WILL be spicy chile sauces and slices chiles, but on the side, all sauces come on the side.

by Anonymousreply 2702/04/2013

pho can come with some real beefy delicacies like tendon and tripe, mainly it will always have thin sliced brisket and round, you can order it exactly like that if you are squeemish.

by Anonymousreply 2802/04/2013

Pho is too messy for lunch with the boss, there's the danger of drips and nobody looks their best when trying to deal with long noodles. Don't recommend those wonderfully delicious crepes either, as they are correctly eaten with the fingers.

Since your primary mission is to impress the boss, not to find out about Vietnamese food, order a lunch plate special with rice or a banh mi sandwich.

by Anonymousreply 2902/04/2013

Thanks for all the advice. Glad to know I'm not going to have to make a fool of myself trying to use chopsticks.

The advice on what food to order is so apreciated.

This promotion is very important and I don't want to chance messing things up and looking like an ass during this lunch.

by Anonymousreply 3002/04/2013

I love Vietnamese food! In winter I usually order some soup, in summer I like their rice rolls. They quite often have great shakes (avocado, coconut) too!

by Anonymousreply 3102/04/2013

Well then, bahn mi (pronounced "bun mee") sandwich is just right. Good luck and hit this one outta the park!

by Anonymousreply 3202/04/2013

Hamburger and fries.

by Anonymousreply 3302/04/2013

[quote]you can order it exactly like that if you are squeemish.

Or even if you're squeamish.

by Anonymousreply 3402/04/2013

A lot of people don't know the correct pronunciation of "PHO" ("fuh," as previously mentioned here) so I found it amusing when I saw a Vietnamese restaurant named "What the Pho?" I'm sure a lot of people didn't get the joke.

by Anonymousreply 3502/04/2013

Bun, pronounced boon.

by Anonymousreply 3602/04/2013

pho is good but for this time of year i would really have to recommend canh chua ca/ga. it's a Sweet And Sour Fish/Chicken Soup. really delicioso.

by Anonymousreply 3702/04/2013

OP, there's no need to apologize at all. I'm 50 and just recently discovered Indian food. A lot of people have never gone to a Vietnamese restaurant. Google is your friend. If you can't google the actual restaurant, Google Vietnamese food to get familiar.

by Anonymousreply 3802/04/2013

No chó?

by Anonymousreply 3902/04/2013

Not a vegetarian but believe we should all eat more vegetables. Has anyone eaten a Viet Namese mostly veggie dish that they recommend? I love Asian food as long as they leave out the fish sauce and shrimp paste that is added to so many dishes; reminds me of something a cat would savor.

by Anonymousreply 4002/04/2013

Yum, order veggie fried rice and tofu.

by Anonymousreply 4102/04/2013

R41, Sounds good. How is Vietnamese veggie fried rice&tofu different from the Chinese versions?

by Anonymousreply 4202/04/2013

Umpy's back I see

by Anonymousreply 4302/04/2013

umpy? who is that? umpy is known for doing what?

by Anonymousreply 4402/04/2013

never mind found it.

by Anonymousreply 4502/04/2013

Vietnamese is one of my top 3 favorite cuisines. Love the flavor combinations.

That said, I think pho is overrated and definitely messy. Banh mi sandwiches are AWESOME but not every Vietnamese restaurant offers them. Some seem to specialize in them, however.

I recommend the fresh summer rolls. They're wrapped in rice paper, and usually filled with small bits of tofu, shredded carrot, cucumber, bean sprouts, and either mint, basil, or cilantro. It doesn't sound like much, but they're incredible. Definitely better than any fried spring roll. Sometimes you can order shrimp instead of tofu. They're great whether you dip them in a sauce or not.

Above all, OP -- don't be nervous. That's silly. If you want to play it safe, order a grilled meat over rice. And don't worry about chopsticks. You'll definitely be given silverware, too.

People who insist on using chopsticks always come off as slightly pretentious anyway, am I right?

by Anonymousreply 4602/04/2013

Just order creme brulee. You'll do just fine.

by Anonymousreply 4702/04/2013

Make a real lasting impression,and dress like Rambo!

by Anonymousreply 4802/04/2013

fish sauce and shrimp paste are a regular ingredient. that being said, the heaps of lettuce and basil and other leaves presented along side the sprouts is very refreshing.

by Anonymousreply 4902/04/2013

vermicelli with bbq pork, pour the little bowl of clear broth looking sauce over it. It has lettuce in it, kind of like a cold noodle salad with warm meat. Very good. My favorite.. you will LOVE IT! pick what meat you like the best or get shrimp with it and thank me later.

by Anonymousreply 5002/04/2013

What the fuck kind of hillbilly makes it to adulthood and knows NOTHING about Vietnamese food?

You MUST live somewhere in East Jesus, Flyover, OP. My goodness.

by Anonymousreply 5102/04/2013

Tons of vietnamese in our little burg

by Anonymousreply 5202/04/2013

R49, Why make all food, especially meat or veggie dishes, taste like fish by using fish sauce and shrimp paste? I am not a cat.

by Anonymousreply 5302/04/2013

I love Vietnamese coffee. It's essentially French roast (single serve french press-like) with sweetened condensed milk used for milk and sugar.

by Anonymousreply 5402/04/2013

I go to several Vietnamese restaurants. I always order the spring rolls {never fried" and a vegetable pancake. Where I live the spring rolls contain both shrimp and pork. I don't eat port so they substitute all shrimp for me.

by Anonymousreply 5502/05/2013

Order the cat. It's great with banana sauce.

by Anonymousreply 5602/05/2013

Fuck the chopsticks! The only time you really see them used by non-Asians is on YV by city-payroll lawyers who are written too sophisticated and have to be brought down a notch by showing them eating take-out at work, straight from those chinese cartons...or by PhD nerds who also eat straight out of the cartons.

Most people don't do either in real life.

Good luck OP, and please let us know how it went when you get back tonight!

by Anonymousreply 5702/05/2013

With a group of people, going to a Vietnamese restaurant, presumably in the USa - won't the group just order the banquet?

by Anonymousreply 5802/05/2013

YV >> TV

by Anonymousreply 5902/05/2013

Most people don't use chopsticks or eat out of the carton, R57? What rock do you live under?

by Anonymousreply 6002/05/2013

Why go to a restaurant when Vietnamese food is so easy to make at home? Plus you know the exact ingredients you put in it. If you don't like fish sauce, don't add fish sauce and substitute ketchup.

by Anonymousreply 6102/05/2013

I think they eat fermented fish heads. Right after the fall of Saigon when so many refugees came here, my brother rented a house to a big family of them, and when I went there to do maintenance on the house, the odor was just unbearable. They did use chopsticks, because when I was working on the kitchen sink, I saw a container of really fancy enameled ones in the dish drainer.

by Anonymousreply 6202/05/2013

I want to thank everyone who gave me advice. I had a great lunch. I had Bi Coun (sp?), shredded pork rolls for an appetizer and their daily special, a Vietnamese crepe filled with shrimp, crab and bean sprouts (I don't remember what it was called). I had no idea what I was ordering when I did, but the waiter was very enthusiastic about both so I went with that, My boss mentioned it was a good choice. The food was was amazing. I think I was the only one, of those who didn't know what we were in for at a Vietnamese restaurant, that actualy ate most of my food.

As I said, I don't think I was the only one who hadn't eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant before and I'm so glad for your advice. There were three people who ordered Pho, didn't pronounce it right, and then didn't seem to know what to with the soup and the plate of additions that came with the giant bowl of soup. and they made a mess out of eating it like you all said they would. The other person who didn't seem to know what to eat ordered a noodle dish that seemed to be one continuous noodle and very messy.

My boss asked me about how often I ate Vietnamese food, I had to say I never had, but that I figured that anything a waiter was excited about serving usualy worked out well. He seemed to apreciate that I would admit to never having the food after the Pho eaters said they ate it often and then didn't know what to do with the food when it came.

I found out this evening that I got my promotion, so I have to thank you guys for that too. I'm sure being a little bit more confident about lunch impressed my boss and maybe tipped the scales in my favor.

by Anonymousreply 6302/08/2013

OP, I have no idea if the lunch did anything for you, but it actually was a small demonstration of your problem-solving skills. When faced with a situation you didn't know how to handle, you found resources, and used the information you got appropriately.

And R57, here in the SF Bay Area, half your average schmoes on the street knows how to use chopsticks. There have been a lot of Chinese restaurants around here, for a looong time.

by Anonymousreply 6402/08/2013

That's so great, OP -- congratulations! And you learned about a new cuisine that you like, & got a nice free lunch. Sounds like a pretty good day.

by Anonymousreply 6502/08/2013

If your lunch really did have anything to do with your promotion it probably helped that you were honest about what you knew and didn't know, and he respected that.

by Anonymousreply 6602/08/2013

R14 here. I don't mean to sounds like Barbara Bush but I'm glad things worked out well for you OP. Congratulations.

by Anonymousreply 6702/08/2013

I think because I had learned a bit about what to eat and what to expect I was less worried and uptight about the whole 'lunch with the boss with a promotion hanging in the balance' thing and was able to relax a bit and be more myself than feeling that I had to be showing off.

Thanks again.

by Anonymousreply 6802/08/2013

vietnamese is jus silly crazy here in my town. you can't have lunch out unless it is vietnamese.

by Anonymousreply 6902/08/2013
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