Friday, October 30, 2015

Panda House, October 27, 2015

When I was growing up, our family had Vietnamese friends who spoiled us with the generosity of their cooking and their kindness. While no restaurant meal ever seems to measure up to the cooking Phong, Anh, and Mui did for us, my grandmom and I liked to go out for Vietnamese food together after our friends moved to California. We also went out for Chinese fairly often. Now that my grandmom has died, I celebrate her birthday every year with either Chinese or Vietnamese food. I'm not very proficient at either cuisine, so we go out. However, when my wife has a heavy workload and is doing lots of long hours, she just likes to come home, get comfy, and eat here. So, the other day, I brought Chinese home. Pie and Bubbles joined us for dinner and they're sweet & sour fans, so she got shrimp & he got pork. I had beef with broccoli & my sweetie had her favorite standby, General Tso's Chicken. I also ordered some crab rangoons and potstickers.

The last couple times, I've been a bit disappointed, frankly, with the food from Panda House. It's not bad, it's just not awesome. Bringing it home didn't help the quality, as both appetizers got pretty soggy pretty quickly. Ah, well. I had a wonderful time chatting with the restaurant guy, a young half-Chinese, half-Vietnamese fella who is always really friendly. I spend a good chunk of the time admiring his tattoos. This visit, he told me about a good Vietnamese place in Madison Heights, on the corner of 13 Mile & Dequindre, and about a bakery on John R I should visit for red bean pastries.

Yesterday, I got the chance to go to the restaurant with the mother of our wee boy after her final OB appointment before the baby is born next week. She'd never had Vietnamese food, so it was a pleasure to introduce her to it at Pho Hang. We had her 18-month-old with us and all three of us really liked it. We started with cha gio, Vietnamese fried spring rolls, one of my favorite foods in the world. These were very good, but I prefer the version at Thuy Trang over on John R. They're closer to the amazing spring rolls the Phus made for us. Because I can never get enough of spring rolls, I ordered the roast pork and spring roll noodle dish, served with fish sauce. Our baby's mother is a soup girl and ordered a bowl of beef pho. She was hoping for a side of shrimp fried rice, but they only do it as an entree, so I urged her to order it, anyway, so she could have leftovers later. She loved everything. It's so much fun introducing people to new foods! I can't wait to start introducing our wee boy to all kinds of yumminess!

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