A long time ago I went to San Francisco with a friend of mine where we decided to enjoy a little Asian cuisine. It was somewhere on Van Ness Ave where I remember reading a sushi menu and being astounded by the colors, shapes, and pure, beautiful variety of foods they had to offer. I had no idea where to start, what wasabi was, or even how to order.
I love that. Being an absolute ignoramus in a restaurant, scared to order but knowing I have to, risking money and time on a meal that will either satiate my palate or be a bit disagreeable, to say the least.
We wound up mistakingly ordering about $70 worth of fish and managed our best to wade through the stacks of rolls and tempura. Departing with an armful of unfinished take-out, our smiles were wide with our discovery of this wonderful way to eat and it was a moment I will never forget.
That visit to California was the first time I forged into a strange place to eat and winged it, and it was a precursor for my life and eventually for my travels to an entire country where I’m not sure how to order. I’ve had wonderful meals but have also made grave mistakes while here in Vietnam. I’ve dumbly ordered double servings of food I know nothing about, eating some items of meat that were both exciting and questionable, and some local dishes that deserve their own day and story.
Dessert isn’t always a pastry or cocktail. Sometimes it’s the story of the meal you just had. Many times following a great meal my pant button springs loose, and I wallow in my digestive juices, thinking longingly of the flavors and aromas I was lucky enough to just enjoy.