Phở 24 Express is Burnaby’s newest Vietnamese restaurant. It took a long while. Last June, this spot was Numero Uno Pizza. The new façade went up quite quickly when Numero Uno vacated. For a couple of months I waited and waited with baited breath for more phở in Burnaby. They teased me by wallpapering the windows with their menu. How cruel is that??! I’d drop by occasionally to check on the progress only to be teased yet again. Finally, around New Year’s, they opened their doors.
Phở 24 Express is a reincarnation of Gold Train Express II out on West 10th in Point Grey. Years ago it was my go-to spot before work at Provence. They made a killer bò kho as well as some great phở. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re still as a good as I remember.
I gotta say, this was a fantastic bowl. A solid curried broth jacked with lots of black pepper. Several big hunks of dark-meat chicken…nary a bit of gristle or bone. Plenty of roasted peanuts and chips of roasted garlic…great textures and an abundance of flavor. My only quibble was with the vermicelli. A bit too thin…verging on angel-hair…next time I’ll ask for the egg noodles. Can’t say enough about the broth, though. Great stuff…bowl drained.
Here’s a good travel tip: When booking an early morning train trip in a foreign country, make sure you’re well caffeinated.
I arrived at the train station in Huế, Vietnam at about 7 a.m. to head to Da Nang. The plan was to book a first-class ticket on the Livitrans car ($17) for the two and a half hour train ride.
Not quite understanding the ticket agent (aside from the phrase “air-conditioned”) I wound up purchasing a $3 “soft-sleeper” ticket. Ooops.
Way back in September 2009, I wrote a post on Green Bamboo Vietnamese Cuisine. Since then the owner/chef has been continually tweaking his menu with new and delicious items. As Green Bamboo has become my favorite local, I thought it deserved an updated post.
Green Bamboo is located on Willingdon Avenue, just south of Kingsway in Burnaby. They are street-level next to the ever popular Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot. The room is quite small, usually steamy and plastered with droolworthy photos of their dishes. Last summer while I was outside checking out the pics, the owner came out and promptly recommended the Grilled Pork Vermicelli Rice Bowl. Turned out to be a fantastic dish. For the last year or so I’ve slowly been making my way through the quite large and varied menu. I have my standbys, but there’s so much more…
After three days amidst the mayhem that is Sài Gòn, it was time to head up to Huế. Huế is a short, one hour flight north of Sài Gòn. With a couple of lengthy flights in economy under my belt, I opted for business class this time around. It was pretty much a no-brainer. Economy was fifty bucks…first-class, a hundred.
The extra fifty doesn’t get you a whole lot…just a bit more room to stretch out and a couple of pretty decent sandwiches.