In the clinging heat of Saigon, it's easy to hatch a formidable craving for a frozen snack. Surprisingly, we have only treated ourselves to ice cream or frozen yogurt a few times in this fair city. Some time ago, I managed to convince Gavin to stop at Bud's for an after-dinner treat, a fitting denouement to a long day at work. We had seen various locations of Bud's Ice Cream of San Francisco all over town. Never having heard of it back home (or during our time living in SF), I was curious to find out what it was all about.
Poorly constructed techno music blared as we made our way to a table. Per norm, all eyes in the place focused upon our exotic faces and a semi-competent English speaker raced over prematurely and hovered over us as we looked over the menu, his shadow blocking out the only semblance of light illuminating the thick, laminated pages. Gavin was so overwhelmed he collapsed into one of the comfy sofas with a resonant sigh.
The menu consists of about 100 different flavors of ice cream and yogurt and over 50 different sundae combinations. The sundaes range from the mundane (hot fudge, butterscotch, and peanut butter) to complex arrangements such as banana splits and American-flag topped, patriotic mounds of ooze and goo. I went for a parfait with 4 scoops of frozen yogurt (peach, blueberry, cherry and strawberry) lacquered with jam, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.
After a satisfying ice cream experience, I headed home and hit the web to see where this place originated. Although they are in fact under license to Berkeley Farms ( a stalwart in the Bay Area milk scene), the company behind Bud's produces the ice cream in Thailand and exports it all across SE Asia in many different guises. Oh, to be the lactose-laden tycoon that brought this product over the seas and now sits on the veranda of a palatial, cream-colored villa on some tropical isle...
While there are several Bud's throughout the city, I enjoyed my parfait in their location at 445-447 Hai Ba Trung in District 1.