Monday, March 28, 2011

Still dreaming of Pho...

After the hot, steaming bowl of Pho goodness I had a couple of nights ago, I am still salivating over the thought of the stuff.

A Pho bowl in the Pacific Northwest

The above photo really does not do justice the the spread that often accompanies the steaming, hot bowl of goodness.  This stuff is just so rich and nutritious, often accompanied by several little bowls of veggies that you dump right into your bowl.

Pho. Love.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Golden Cross/Zum Golden Kreuz- Parsberg

I was a bit skeptical when I heard about "really great Vietnamese food" in Parsberg, the closest little town to our place of residence. I don't like to be negative from the get-go, but I just really wondered- "Good Vietnamese food around these parts?  How? Why?"

I grew up in California, eating really good Mexican food.  I am picky about my Mexican food.

I spent years in Hawai'i  eating really good sushi.  I am picky about my sushi and Japanese food.

So yeah, I was skeptical. I am no connoisseuer of Vietnamese food but all I knew is that I did not want to be sick with bad Vietnamese (or other) food.

5 months after the recommendation, we have now been to The Golden Cross at least a handful of times.  Always a good experience.


I was introduced to Pho in Portland, Oregon a few years ago, where Pho shops actually abound in straightforward abundance.  Up until then, I was completely unaware of it's medicinal deliciousness.  On the night these photos were taken, I was on the brink of a changing-of-the-seasons sniffle attack.  The good and hot bowl of Pho, complimented with additions of spiciness, was truly a simple culinary remedy.

The Golden Cross was restored and modernized in 1997.  There is an obvious preservation of character at work.  In fact, on this particular night of dining, our "waiter" (the restaurant owner) provided info, in one of those synchronistic and lovely moments.  I had come to the restaurant that night with my camera, determined to finally capture images of the space and the food.  Moments after we sat down, we were approached by the owner who immediately delved into a sort of monologue about the place, it's history and his role in it.

Sweet and sour chicken

 I think I have had this every single time I came here.  This time, I ordered both this and the Pho, a bit embarrassed by my gluttony, but actually, not really caring too much. It's good stuff.


The restaurant owner assured us that the term for this type of chandelier is basically un-translatable.  I'll leave it at that, save for mentioning that these lüsterweibchen typically feature females in varied pose, commonly with antlers.  It's a lovely tradition.  I would like one of my own frankly.  The one pictured above is from the late 1700's/early 1800's and was a gift to the restaurant from a well known (a.k.a. the richest family in these parts) family in Parsberg.

Thank you to the amiable staff at The Golden Cross for continued good dining experiences in your historic, atmospheric and comfortable restaurant.

P.S. The Golden Cross also serves up some excellent traditional German fare as well as Mediterranean and Italian dishes.  I know.  I have seen and tasted some of them.  I am just a diehard spring roll/ pho soup advocate so my posts are going to be spring roll/sweetsourchick/pho centric.

Warning!!!! Berlin Weekend Brunch

 Photo: A quickie breakfast on our Sunday in Berlin, January 2011

On our January adventure to the spaceship city of Berlin, we made the mistake of not providing ample time in a whirlwind weekend trip for a legitimate brunch experience.

I fell in love with Berlin in Winter of 2002, partly due to such a weekend brunch experiences- Sunday morn with friends in a candlelit and spacious, yet cozy cafe that eventually unravelled into hours (and I mean hours) of dialogue, good food, coffee and later other libations....

It was humanity at it's simplest, and finest.  Good company, good sustenance in your tummy and the leisure and "freedom" to sit amidst a vaguely smoky (that has changed now) and nook filled cafe and celebrate a simple day with the ones you kno, trust and love.

Berlin.  Next time around, it's on.  Sunday brunch, we will not miss you.