Sunday, June 21, 2009

foodiehunter and bún bò huế at kim huong

the foodie hunter put a toe outside of the closet today when i handed one of the owners of kim huong a cd with the best bun bo hue pictures i have taken. these are the pics that i have posted on yelp and on flickr. the owners still have no idea that i write this blog though...the foodie hunter is only going to go so far outside of the semi-anonymity closet.

it all began last week when i overheard new customers saying positive things about the pics on yelp to one of the owners. she said that other people have said that to her before but that she hadn't gone to see the pics. i felt a bit funny to hear this....and decided to tell the owner later on that i had decided to post pics on yelp because there weren't that many (i.e., 2 pictures). not to be a shit or anything, but there is only one other nice pic on the kim huong yelp page that isn't mine. i had decided a few months ago to post some of my better pics of the places that i really like on yelp, in hopes that it would entice people to visit some of my faves.

in this economy, i'm extremely conscious about the independent places that i want to stay in business. just to be clear, i don't get paid to do this. i only do this for places that i actually enjoy. it really hit home for me when stacey's bookstore on market street closed in the city. this is a fate that i do not want to see for kim huong or other independent businesses that i love.

i've been going to kim huong for a long time now and i think most of you know that it is one of my sanctuaries. i pretty much only order the bun bo hue. it is one of my favorite vietnamese soups and they do it very well here. for even more of my pics and postings about the bun bo hue, please feel free to visit here. yet, here are my shots from today...

one of these days, i'll probably deviate and order something else...but unlikely anytime soon. i order the bun bo hue because it is absolutely amazing with its spicy beef pork broth with succlent slices of meat and chewy thick round noodles.

i have been searching for years for a place that does it just how i like it.

i'm still not sick of it. yet, there are other reasons why i visit kim huong that i wanted to share with you.

kim huong is clean.

for some of you, this may be a funny statement to read....but when you go into predominately asian areas in the states, cleanliness is not exactly a given.

kim huong welcomes vietnamese and non-vietnamese alike.

the owners are always really nice to me and know who i am. yet, because i go so often, i am also able to see how they treat other customers and regulars. they have always been super friendly and very patient with customers that are not familiar with vietnamese food. for example, there were a few young men eating at the bar area today, and the owner was answering their questions about vietnamese food and history in general. i appreciate this quite a bit....growing up, i do recall many a time where many vietnamese places act like you have to have a secret "club card" aka "be vietnamese" to get ok service. as a result, i would be very judicious about taking people into these places. at kim huong, they also don't treat non-vietnamese people with any hint or level of condescension. i would be very comfortable taking any of my non-vietnamese friends here. the customer base at kim huong reflects the diversity of the bay area....i've seen all ethnicities eat here....doesn't matter if you are vietnamese, chinese, japanese, korean, african american, flilipino, white, latino, or hapa really doesn't matter....and i like that alot.

if you are in or around downtown oakland, i would highly recommend that you drop by and see for yourself...just don't tell them that the foodie hunter sent you. still trying to be semi-anonymous here.

kim huong, 304 10th Street (between Harrison St & Webster St), oakland, ca 94607, (510) 836-3139,

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