Uncle Ho, of course, or at least the people’s humble noodle soup that has emerged as the unofficial national dish of Vietnam. Pho, the beef broth rich with spices, the bowl chock-a-block full of thin-sliced rare beef, meatballs, rice noodles, mung bean sprouts, fresh basil and cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a nice hit of hot hot hot chili sauce is the answer to both winter and a killer hangover that lasts as long as the four-day debauchery it took to get it. The pho, (pronounced ph-ua) at the Driftwood Diner, way down there on Johnston, will make you so happy and well you’ll go back to work with love in your heart for all people, even your boss.
Owner Dao Bui, a native of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) moved to Lafayette in 1983, but didn’t open her small restaurant until 2006. Urged on by a cousin who had a restaurant and who taught her the ropes, as well as her three daughters, Bui created a menu that’s half Viet, half Louisiana. Meaning you can go for your pho, and bring a reluctant colleague along who would rather chow down on a catfish poboy. There’s lots of seafood on the menu for Lenten fish dishes, a daily special, eggs and bacon breakfasts, and what I consider the mother lode — hefty springrolls loaded with fresh greens, pork, shrimp and rice noodles with a peanut sauce for dipping, Oriental-flavored grilled pork over rice and a newly added Vietnamese poboy.
Bui has gotten such a positive response she says she’s getting ready to add some new Vietnamese dishes to her repertoire. Bun cha and bun thit are both noodle dishes less brothy than pho. They come with grilled meat, and the bun thit has a bottom layer of crunchy cucumber seasoned with nuoc cham, a sweet and spicy sauce made of rice vinegar, fish sauce, chilies, lime, garlic and sugar. She may also be persuaded to make green papaya salad, dressed with the bright flavors of nuoc cham, that will ruin you for all other salads.
Vietnamese cooking is one of the finest cuisines in the world and exactly right for south Louisiana. Based on the freshest seafood, lots and lots of leafy greens and fragrant herbs, grilled pork and of course rice, it is at once familiar and totally different and surprising, with the flavor of nuoc cham keeping you coming back for more. Three common elements of Vietnamese and Louisiana cuisine, French bread, beignets and cafe au lait come thanks to the French colonial period in each semi-tropical part of the world.
Another reason to thank Uncle Ho. The people’s food comes at the people’s prices. There’s nothing more than $8 on the menu, and most dishes weigh in at under $5. Now if only we could get rid of the traffic.
The Driftwood is located at 6699 Johnston St., between Carson’s Vet Clinic and Fire Station #13. Call 981-4544 to place take-out orders and for more info.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.