Jun 23, 2008

Viet Hoa Fo Sho: Taste Test No. 2 - Do the Mantou

For this week's installment of Viet Hoa Fo Sho, we decided to stick with desserts. Granted, after last week, I'm not entirely sure why we would ever want to eat another baked good from the Viet Hoa.

This week's offering was frozen, chocolaty and emotionally conflicted. Behold the chocolate Mantou.

The packaging reminds me of a worksheet I had in my Sociology 100 class. The professor gave us pictures of faces and we had to label the emotion expressed on the face. They were all ambiguous, and I got most of them wrong. I can't tell if these little cartoon mantous are really happy to see me or maniacally angry that I'm about to eat them.

To cook the mantous, we took them out of the freezer, set them in a bowl, spritzed them with water and microwaved them on medium. Sadly, they didn't grow to twice their size or otherwise mutate.

They looked kind of delicious. And edible (which, after that last item, I was thankful that we could at least identify most of the ingredients with a cursory once over).

The good news is that they're not bad. Not as chocolaty as I had hoped for, but not bad. The bad news is that they seem to be mostly texture and no flavor. I'm not sure what it is about these desserts. Is all the spiciness and flavor wasted on curries and ramen noodle seasoning packets?

These tasted less like chocolate cake than a weird combination of bread and spray foam. We did try them topped with whipped cream, which seemed to help the overall consistency.

Like the little mantous on the packaging, I'm conflicted. On the one hand, they weren't the best thing I've ever had. But they weren't terrible, and they sure as hell weren't as disgusting as that thing we ate last week.

I have a feeling that everything we eat will be held to the standard of "It wasn't great, but it definitely wasn't as bad as that green thing."

Jun 16, 2008

Viet Hoa Fo Sho: Taste Test No.1 - It's all fun and games until somebody eats the sponge

A few days ago, our wonderful friends Brandon and Amanda turned us on to the Viet Hoa Market. They had been exposed to the wonder of the Vietnamese market because of it's crazy cheap food and overwhelming shopping experience.

We went there straight from Brandon and Amanda's, full of excitement and hope for delicious cheap curry and fresh fish. We were expecting good things, but what we found was amazing. The Viet Hoa is the grocery of my dreams. And it is because of this that I bring you my new weekly tribute to my local sketchy dream grocery: Viet Hoa Fo Sho.

This week: Green Spongy Mystery Food.

When I picked up this 89-cent loaf of fun, I thought that it looked kind of tasty, maybe like a green tea-flavored coconut cake. Then I gently pressed down on the top of it. It was bouncy, like Jell-o.

We set a ground rule - the food must be chewed and swallowed. No giving up and spitting it out. The food cannot win.

I took a bite, expecting it to taste like, well, something. Instead, my mouth was assaulted with the texture of fake plastic grass with a piquant styrofoam cup aftertaste. I may forget the taste, but I'll never forget trying to swallow it.

I made Matthew take a bite, and this happened:

He's all smiles now, but just wait until he sticks it in his mouth.

Since the thing was inedible, we decided to perform some experiments:

No.1 - If you can't eat it, befriend it!

It's sponge-like. Can it remove tough stains?

Matthew tried to set it on fire, but instead of igniting, it just smelled like burning plastic. Which lead us to a very important question - was this thing even meant to be eaten?

In frustration, we abandoned it on our back porch. We'll check up on it in a few days. Hopefully, it won't stain the porch or grow to ten times its size.

Next time: Emotionally conflicted cakes.

Jun 13, 2008

Left Behind

On Wednesday, we started the process of moving from my adorable bachlorette apartment into a duplex more suited for two people. It's a three-legged dog of a house. The stairs are wide, then suddenly narrow, no two door frames are alike, and though the bedrooms are tiny, it has the biggest bathroom I've ever seen.

When we first got the keys, we came over and sat on the back porch, eating masaman curry out of the take out container, grinning about the fact that we had a porch.

Seeing the house empty was weird. The two times we had been in before we got the keys the previous tenant had been here. She had a lot of stuff, and it nice to see the house empty and ready for us.

I say empty, but really, I mean mostly empty. She left the fake flower decorations at the tops of the kitchen windows, and a light switch cover shaped like some kind of fruit (I'm not entirely sure if it's supposed to be mango or squash), and a comically nasty hardcore porn movie review magazine on the top shelf in the downstairs bathroom.

We're finishing the move today and tomorrow, and you're all welcome to stop by and have a beer with us or unpack a box on Saturday. There will be a formal new house party later this month.

Jun 5, 2008

I Fly Like Paper


To those of you that have sent worried emails (though most of you know exactly what I've been up to) I'm still here.

I can explain my absence several ways, and none of them are very good excuses.

The first one is that I work at a Web site. When one works at a Web site all day, it's hard to come home and want anything to do with the internet. Also, I've been working on this pretty awesome package for said site that I want you all to see. There will be more details later, but here's a hint: it's me, at a wrestling match.

I'm also getting ready to move. Matthew and I found a duplex in Cooper-Young, and we're moving in within the next two weeks. Given that both of us are pack rats and neither one of us particularly enjoys packing, we've made very little progress. My lease is up in 26 days, and it feels like we'll never leave here.

I haven't forgotten this blog. Really, I promise. Can we still be friends? I'll update more, I swear.