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You thought our Hoi An food crawl was over, didn’t you? Well clearly you’ve underestimated the power of our appetites.
Actually, Scott said he was full from the gigantic bahn mi and bowl of Cao Lau but I convinced him to soldier on (in the name of research, of course). I was so happy with my powers of persuasion that I neglected to realize one thing: making food decisions when you’re already in a food coma is generally not a good idea.
But two stops does not a food crawl make, so we headed toward the Hoi An food market, wandering under a mosaic of overlapping green and blue tarps while looking for something enticing. Word on the street was that the food there was good, and we eventually saddled up to a stand and ordered two specials:
A crispy stuffed pancake called bahn xeo was the Vietnamese equivalent of the taquito: greasy with a little bit of a crunch, and not as flavorful as you’d think.
Next up is the noodle dish bahn cuo, for which I had high hopes. Thinly shredded herbs and carrots make the long, flat noodles look like they’re filled with confetti, and they fall prettily as they’re hand-cut with a pair of shiny scissors.
But they’re served cool—and I’m never been one for anything that tastes like leftovers the first time around. I forced a few slimy noodles down before giving in. Luckily, at $1.50 for the whole shebang, I don’t feel so bad about leaving food on the plate.
Plus, I didn’t have time to feel bad. I had a $1 manicure to attend to. Oh Hoi An, you make life so hard.
Okay, I’ve gotta be honest with you guys: when we left New Hampshire for Quebec City, Scott and I had already biked, hiked, sailed, and kayaked on vacation. I was more than ready for a little R&R, and the French did not disappoint.
We stayed at the Maison du Fort, a cozy inn located in the upper part of town, inside the fortress walls. The Maison is run by a wild lady named Marielle, who served us buttery pastries for breakfast and gave us the inside scoop on good events around town.
One of the Marielle’s recommendations was a free Cirque du Soleil show held weekly under the city’s highway overpass. It sounded a little sketchy but we decided to go for it, and I’m so glad we did.
Who doesn’t love fire-wielding she-birds strutting through the crowd?
And silk-wrapping acrobats hanging from the highway? The performances spoke for themselves (and thank God, because they were all in French).
The next day we slept in late, grabbed some coffee and walked around the city. The whole place just oozes French charm, and I couldn’t help but feel transported back to Europe.
Then ate croissants, and took pictures of houses…
Then ate eclairs, and took pictures of…doors?
Eventually we bought a bottle of wine and continued walking around the city, which was a little risky considering my penchant for jaywalking and the number of horse-drawn carriages around. I tried to remember to watch my feet, but with a view like this it was hard to focus.
After finishing our wine we went on a hunt for Chez Victor, which has a reputation as the best burger spot in all of Quebec. The reputation is wrong–it wasn’t just the best burger in Quebec, it was the best burger anywhere. Scott and I scarfed ours down, stopping in between bites to practice saying “burger” in a French accent. It sounds sort of like “BEAR-gare” and was incredibly funny to us. (Did I mention the wine?)
So a lot of food and a lot of photographs–that pretty much sums up the story of Scott and I in Quebec City, a gorgeous, historical, French Canadian town. Food and photographs. And I wouldn’t change it for a second. xo