Someone got to eat (2) — not a story of forgetting something

Saturday, March 13th 2010
I arrived in my conference hotel in Austin, TX, slightly before the check-in time and found out that my room wasn’t ready. I decided to go for lunch while waiting for a room. I hadn’t had anything but a cup of coffee made by my beloved J and one green apple since the morning I flew from Phoenix. I asked the guy at the reception desk for a recommendation for nearby restaurants. He suggested me to go across the street and choose one of restaurants there. When asked about his favorite, he mentioned a sandwich place called Bite Me. I thought, “Sandwich?.. oh well I am not a fan!”… so yeah, forget it. Little I knew that this is not a typical sandwich place.

I walked across the street and found several restaurants. There were two restaurants I was tempted to go in, one falafel place and one sushi place. And then I saw a sign board “Bite Me” Vietnamese sandwich! Oh, my mind suddenly flew to Hanoi. I missed that delicious sandwich, the french influenced Banh Mi. The picture of golden crackly crusty light French-Viet bread filled in with thinly sliced bbq meat and shredded pickled carrots and daikon emerged in my mind.. oooh, yummy!
a delicious bbq Banh Mia delicious bbq Banh Mi

I pulled eh pushed the door and quickly walked into the cashier. There was one guy sitting down there. I said, “I’d like to order one sandwich and one Vietnamese coffee, please.” He stared at me as if I were a weirdo. Saying nothing, this guy left me, went inside and another guy showed up and asked how he could help. I then started bombarding him with questions about sandwiches on the menu.

Thuan, that’s his name, was silent for sometime, then slowly responded, “Uhm…. we had a big order today and we are actually closed” (long pause) “but if you are really hungry we can make something for you“. I then looked around. My eyes were suddenly opened and I realized that I witnessed an unusual scene. The room was dark, with big boxes all over, and yes, there was a big sign, “CLOSED” on the door! Oh, I was blind! My mom and my husband are right, sometimes I cannot see things that are obvious!

“Ooh, I am so sorry, I don’t know why I didn’t see the sign.”
“It’s OK. If you are hungry, we can make something for you.”
“Really? I don’t want to bother you.”
“No, no, it’s fine. I can make a sandwich for you.”

So there I was, ordering a bbq sandwich and Vietnamese coffee. The sandwich was superb, almost felt like being in Vietnam. The coffee, too, was authentic. It felt good to be the only customer in that restaurant. Besides, Thuan and other staffs of Bite Me seemed to be happy to have saved me from dying of hunger 😀A picture of "Bite Me" taken after my happy lunch. Yes, apparently it's really closed, and, the sign is big and clear :)A picture of “Bite Me” taken after my happy lunch. Yes, apparently it’s really closed, and, the sign is big and clear 🙂

 

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