Saturday, February 26, 2011

Veggy's Market

Just when I thought I would never find it....I found it, right here in Saigon.  Since arriving here, I'd been complaining prodigiously about the lack of ingredients for some our favorite meals at the local super markets.  I'd scanned and scoured the shelves in vain for such things as black beans, cheese that doesn't taste like plastic, avocados, oatmeal, etc.  I finally came to the conclusion that I would just have to revert back to basics - start making foods from scratch like whole-grain breads and fresh homemade tortillas.  Sadly, I was having trouble finding even simple ingredients like yeast, flour, baking powder, and butter.  It became a weekly challenge that left me perplexed as I drifted down bleach-white aisles, staring blankly at foreign bags of powder written in strange words.  This, coupled with the fact that that we don't have an oven, led to petulant fits of rage as I listlessly looked over my favorite recipes.  Finally, I found myself complaining out loud, in mixed company, and was given an answer to all my trouble:

"Have you tried looking at the American store?"

"The WHAT???"

"The American food shop down on Le Thanh Ton St., they have everything."

Gavin and I set out to find this foodie oasis and find it we did.  We must have passed the shop a hundred times, as it's nestled in the heart of Saigon's "ex-pat ghetto" quite near to one of our favorite Japanese spots in town.

Located at 29A Le Thanh Ton, Veggy's is tiny, cramped, and exhilarating!  The neatly packed shelves are loaded with rare goodies: cake mixes, baking supplies, canned soups, breakfast cereals/oats, fresh grainy breads, etc.  A large freezer near the front entrance is filled with frozen berries, pizzas and a fine selection of Amy's Organic frozen meals for the busy, yet conscious crowd.  For the finicky eater, gluten-free and low fat options abound as well.

Don't miss the upstairs!  They have a fine selection of deli meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh by the gals behind the counter.  On our initial visit, we opted for slices of imported prosciutto (Parma ham), Australian goat cheese, and a sharp cheddar.  There is also a huge walk-in refrigerator space with fantastic produce and some assorted dairy products. 

The moment I walked into Veggy's I felt like I was being welcomed home.  While on the pricey side, I was able to pick up everything I was looking for that day - including flour and baking powder for my homemade tortillas, re-fried beans, black beans, and rolled oats (now I can make my veggie burgers without eggs!).  Gavin had to restrain me from going all out.  Two small bags of specialty items at Veggie's does indeed cost more than I usually spend in a week at one of the local shops, but I will be back soon!


Carol said...

You sound so happy, I'm so glad you found Veggy's!

Isis said...

Nellie !! Congratulations !!! I knew your Eagle Eye Radar (should be your "Indian Name") hahaha !!! Would find what you wanted ! I am so happy for you !!!

Quesadillas? Prociutto and Melon? Bruschetta?

The World is Now Yours !!

Glad you're so happy !! I today did have an Epiphany in SF .... I've never been happier in My Life!!! I love it here !!!! Took a "Walking Tour" of Haight Ashbury ..... I was born too late, alas, the Hippies Are all 60. But, BURNING MAN LIVES !!!! hahaha!!

Happy Cooking !!!! Miss y'all but I'm so glad you're happy and together and having such fun !!!! Xox

Oya said...

Nellie, I had a similar feeling when I found the Middle East market in Durham. They had everything: Turkish white cheese (in a can), Mehmet Efendi Turkish coffee, sehriye (little noodles), bulgur, sarma (vine leaf dolma), and even Ulker candy bars! I was so happy!

Barbara Adam said...

Wow, you're going to be excited when you find Annam Gourmet, too! That's where I stocked up on pasta sauce, vegemite and parsley! 16 Hai Ba Trung.
We left HCMC a year ago and I can't wait to get back there.