as i mosey through all the knick knacks and future garage sale items at phuoc loc tho, the food court at the center always beckons me with its plethora of delicious vietnamese treats. and NOTHING makes my tongue wiggle as wildly as THIS treat, trứng vịt lộn (a fertilized duck egg with a nearly formed duck fetus nestled inside). here is a batch of eggs sitting in a warm water bath, awaiting for a lucky pie hole like mine.
to crack one of these suckers open for consumption, one must possess a gentle touch. first, you take a good look at your egg and make sure the tapered end faces upwards. you then make soft taps with the back of your spoon and carefully peel off the pieces of broken shell from the top, being cautious not to spill any of the duck juices that has brewed so potently within its shell. take an initial slurp and you too, will relish in the pure concentration of this duck juice. a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and vietnamese mint sets the stage for a most wonderful bite.
we quickly followed up our ducky mouthfuls with these snails cooked with lemon grass. it was delicious and tangy. my only regret was not ordering more.
these paler versions were cooked in a light, gingery broth. when they were brought to our table, our toothpicks were poised and ready to fish out the meat from these coiled shells. a light dip in the fish sauce gave this gastrapoda just enough zing for consumption. loves.
the bánh cuốn was not as masterful ;) as my mom's homemade version, OF COURSE, but it was delicious nevertheless. the fish cake and the mung bean patties were very filling components to the dish.
and we rounded out our feast with an order of bánh bèo which were delicious individual saucers of steamed rice cakes topped with a bit of dried shrimp. i could have eaten them all if it wasn't for the fact that i HAD to share. BOOOOO.....
and before i headed home, i HAD to grab a box of goi du du, a vietnamese style green papaya salad. what makes this food stall particularly memorable is their beef AND liver jerky on top. i never leave phuoc loc tho without a beloved box of shredded green papaya from this place.
heavenly. the textures and flavors are just amaaaaazing.