The Vietnamese Markets

Nola’s non-stop noshing and her blogging thereof (mainly the dim sum entry) got me thinking. I haven’t been out to New Orleans East to shop at the Vietnamese markets in quite a while.

On occasion, before the storm, I would trek out to the Vietnamese section of New Orleans East to visit the Vietnamese markets. I would usually buy some ginger and lemongrass, maybe some chili oil or fish sauce, and take time to gawk at all the odd ingredients inherent in Oriental markets.

There was a Vietnamese bakery out there that had great French bread and almond cookies among its offerings. They also made steamed buns filled with vegetables, pork or chicken that were very filling. Everything was also extremely inexpensive.

Once I visited a large market at Michoud and Chef Menteur which had whole roasted ducks and pigs hanging in the front of the store. I bought a duck and took it home for dinner. It had been seasoned with five spice powder and roasted to a crispy finish.

That area of town was under a lot of water during and after the storm. Not too long after returning from evacuation I drove out to rubberneck at the destruction along the Chef Menteur highway. Most every building out that way was gutted and empty. As I traveled east on the highway I saw that at least one of the groceries was open and I stopped in. They were well-stocked and pretty busy, they may have been the only store open of any type for miles around. An absolute marvel of resiliency two months after being under ten feet of water.

Although the Vietnamese and Oriental markets on the West Bank didn’t suffer as much damage, and I hear they have marvelous selections, it’s time to go back to the East.

Update : I blog about it, they cover it.

One Response to The Vietnamese Markets

  1. nolanotes on April 24, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I grew up in “the East,” although not THAT far out in the East where all the Vietnamese shops are. I am not the least bit surprised at their resiliency. I’d like to join you when you go for your visit. Though I still won’t eat chicken feet.

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