November 12, 2008

Loss and Consolation: The End of Binh Duong

I am sorry to report that LL and I have suffered a loss. We were stunned to learn yesterday that our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Binh Duong, is no more.

We'd found Binh Duong just over a year ago and it rapidly became our default restaurant. They had the best Vietnamese of anyplace we'd tried in town. Their seafood clay pot and their soups were uniquely spiced and reasonably priced. I lost count of how many times we'd eaten there. The last time my sister and her family were in town we took them there and they agreed, too, that it was the best Vietnamese that they'd ever had. The service was exceptional, too.

Sadly, LL and I decided to have lunch there yesterday before I dropped her off for her class. We were greeted by a "closed" sign. Gone. Instead, a new Vietnamese restaurant, called Diem Ha, is moving in "soon." No more Binh Duong. Truly, the good die young.

Our consolation prize was a cluster of shaggy mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) that I spotted from the car as we pulled out of the parking lot. It was growing in a planted area. I'd never collected shaggy manes before and am looking forward to trying them for the first time. Still, it's a small consolation for the loss of our favorite restaurant.

We stopped off at Pho Dakao instead, and the food there is good... but it's no Binh Duong. Diem Ha has some very big shoes to fill as far as we're concerned.

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