bun day

This morning on my way to work, I was reading an Anthony Bourdain story about eating bun in Vietnam. According to Tony, eating in the “comforts” of a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant in New York is quite nice, but sitting down on a small plastic chair surrounded by locals in Hanoi is heavenly. Thus, started my craving for bun, also known as Vietnamese vermicelli noodle soup. This stream of consciousness not only led to my “whatever Lola wants, Lola gets” moment, I started to wonder if “bun” is pronounced “boon” or “buhn.” Which progressed to my thinking if Bunn coffeemakers were pronounced “boon” or “buhn”. Then, of course, I got to work only to discover our Bunn coffeemaker had broken and silently took that as an external sign that I should have Vietnamese for lunch today. (Yes, I know it was a strange chain of thoughts but it worked for me.)
I called up Mike, my gastro-muse-at-work to see if he was game, and off we went. Sai’s in the Financial District seems to be perpetually crowded during the lunch hours, any work day of the week. Good food, pretty good prices, and I believe, the only Vietnamese place in that neck of the SF woods. As the waiter set our bun bowls down, I smiled, not only knowing my appetite will soon be rightly and wantingly satiated, not only because our mousy petite waiter had massive tattoos up and down his arm and neck, not only because it was the first time in weeks I had actually gone out for lunch, but I thought what a great place to be – in San Francisco, a city where appetites can be satisfied, no matter what your craving is. Mike had recently gotten back from a vacation in Argentina. Of course, one of my first questions to him was, “How was the food?” To which he replied, “You know, we are so spoiled here in San Francisco…” And I knew exactly what he meant.

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