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Sunday, September 04, 2005

I Have A Dream -- Of Exotic Food Restaurants

A strange thing happened to me yesterday on the way home, after a long evening of blogging and reading blogs on the Internet at my local university. I'd been reading and scanning a number of cool food blogs including Pho-King, which is mostly about pho (prounced something like "fuh"), the thin noodles in soup broth served at Vietnamese restaurants. I've loved Vietnamese food, especially pho and the grilled meats, for a very long time. (Oddly enough, when I dated a Vietnamese girl long years past, we never once had Vietnamese food together.)

After reading the Pho-King blog about all the great pho they'd been having, I felt quite hungry and rather jealous that there wasn't a Vietnamese restaurant on my way home. I recalled, however, that there's a Japanese-Thai restaurant, Red Ginger, owned by a Chinese family and which is on my way home. In fact, they also own three "Red Papaya" Vietnamese-Thai restaurants, including one in my city (but which I cannot get to easily without a car). While walking home, enjoying the cool night air, I kept wishing that they served Vietnamese food at Red Ginger, too. So I figured I could satisfy my raging noodle-lust with some Japanese udon noodle soup or maybe some Pad Thai.

Upon being seated at Red Ginger, I opened my menu and saw only Vietnamese items. I blinked and looked again, expecting to see the familiar Japanese and Thai dishes. Surprised and elated, I jumped up and asked the young Canadian man who was hosting what had happened to the menu. Long story short, Trevor, the host, ended up sitting down with me while I enjoyed my Vietnamese noodles. He explained how he had been recently hired by the owners to help promote and expand the business, among other things.

Trevor spoke with so much passion about his restaurant dreams, which he shared with the owners, that I couldn't not listen. It was their plan, he told me, to have Red Papaya restaurants be as ubiquitous as, say, those various chains of popular Italian restaurants in Canada and the United States. His logic, which seemed sound, was that you could have a satisfying, healthy meal for sometimes half the price of other family-oriented restaurants, and thus their stores should be quite popular. And, he told me, he's had Canadians in their 50s and 60s who said they felt they could bring their parents for dinner. Vietnamese food isn't as mysterious as it might have been a decade ago. In fact, while Carribean and Japanese food were predicted to be the two hottest types of ethnic restaurants in Canada for this decade, I have seen more Vietnamese places open up in the last 4 years than Carribean and Japanese restaurants together.

It's nice to hear others talk about their food dreams. What was nicer still, in the course of our conversation, Trevor agreed to meet with a friend of mine, David the Wine Guy, who recently returned from 16 small wineries in France and Italy. These wineries have no representation outside of Europe, and are hoping that young David can build up a clientele for their wines. If things work out, the restaurants Trevor manages may carry David's clients' wines. Three dreams from one. How sweet it is.

Now if you've never tried Vietnamese food, look for a restaurant with the word "Pho" in the name. Venture in, ask for some meal suggestions, and see if you aren't hooked. Just don't touch the ultra hot "sriracha" sauce or the chili-seed paste. Unless you're insane like me.


(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://curryelviscooks.blogspot.com


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The essence of a blog can be many things. You have certainly captured at least one of them. It will be interesting to see how your blog evolves over time.

Ted
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It's my intention, once I have enough readers, to start a weekly videocast of a new cooking show. I've already approached Food Network, but I have to first find the funds to pay a camera person. I figured, why not go on the Iternet instead, where there's a larger potential viewership (but not necessarily any monetary gain).

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  • I'm blogslinger
  • From Canada
  • Writer, author, former magazine editor and publisher, amateur photog, amateur composer, online writer/ blogger, online publisher, freelancer


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