Traditional Tacos and Basic Rice Noodles

I can’t get enough. I have a problem. Please send help (by which I mean gift cards to Tacos El Cuñado and Pho Anh Trang).

Somewhere in my late-Winter/early-Spring attempt to get back on the healthy wagon, I overcame my craving for boxed mac-n-cheese and rediscovered east Asian and authentic Mexican food. Now, I’m finding any excuse to stop at the market’s taco counter, and steadily increasing my home supply of rice noodles (only because the preferred Vietnamese restaurant is on the other side of town).

First, the tacos. Forget greasy cheese, limp lettuce and meat sauce. These traditional-street-food babies bring together warm corn tortillas, vegan options like tempeh, rice and beans and nopales (cactus), pescetarian favorites like shrimp, and fresh pico de gallo and avocado. Most of that food is local, I might add. If I get a taco trio (for less than $10), that leaves me enough to do a tasting at the distillery a few steps away. Ok, just kidding (so far. Talk to me after this weekend).

In an effort to cut costs, I just picked up some lovely corn tortillas, limes and avocados. Is there a way to eat this three times a day?

Is there a way to also eat pho three times a day? ‘Cause I wanna to both. If you know me personally, you know I am dead serious and can do it.

It all began with a memory, and then a sudden need, for seafood pho. A few weeks back, I thought about the time an aunt and uncle treated us to dinner at Pho Anh Trang, and for the next hour I searched online and verbally justified driving across town on a Sunday evening. By 8pm, I was staring at one of my largest serving bowls filled with broth, vegetables, shrimp, basil and, apparently, crack. Because I want this all the time. I’ve tried to make my own, but have learned to accept inferiority and just eat boxed rice noodles with peas and soy sauce. Still delicious. My red plastic San Francisco China Town chopsticks are getting a lot of use these days.

The thing is, it’s all good. While Taco Bell and cheap Chinese takeout certainly have their place in my heart, they certainly aren’t health food. The traditional tacos and fresh pho of my current favorite restaurants are pretty affordable, and align with my dietary ideals. I hope the obsessions last a while.

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