|The noodle shop's festive front|
|Jenny's Boat Noodles|
It began as a random on-line meeting:.a casual glance across the room that is the Internet, a nod, a smile, and in no time at all, Jenny in Thailand and I in San Francisco were conversing intimately.about.... noodles.
I had broken the ice by telling Jenny how much I liked Thai food, especially noodles. I boasted about my noodle blog, and sent her a link. Finally I got around to asking her what she did.
"I'm a merchant, I have a small shop selling noodles and coffee," she wrote.
"What kind of noodles? Pad Thai?" "Wait a sec," she wrote, and sent me a picture. I stared at it.
"Boat noodles!" I exclaimed. "Yes," she wrote.
It was foodie love at first Skype!
|The noodle shop's serene interior|
Jenny's soup comes with a broth that is enriched with with pork blood in typical Boat Noodle style; .I know of quite a few Asian soups that use cubes of congealed pig's blood as a garnish, but not many that I am aware of use it as a key ingredient in the broth base. This may seem off-putting to a Westerner, but it makes for a smooth, rich soup and you wouldn't even know it was due to animal blood if no one had told you.
There are only the two traditional Boat Noodle protein choices here, beef or pork, though you'll find pork meatballs in either, along with complex seasoning and garnishment, When it come to noodle styles for your soup, there is a wider range of choices. You can have thin or wide (flat) rice noodles, Chinese-style egg noodles (which Jenny seems to prefer), bean thread noodles or instant noodles. There's coffee to be had, but more importantly (to me at least) beer. The house beer is Leo, which is Singha Beer's little brother. Judging from the video call snippet Jenny treated me to, there will also be some spirit-lifting Thai pop music.
Now that I've "adopted" this modest Thai noodle shop as my blog's cyber-penpal, I plan to be checking on it often. Look for Full Noodle Frontity to report back from time to time with as many pictures, stories, and videos I can coax out of Jenny (and who knows, maybe even a recipe or two). If you find yourself in her neighborhood, seek her noodle shop out, and show her how crazy for Thai Boat Noodles a foodie can be.