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the lonesome death of Nam Vang: an elegy


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the lonesome death of Nam Vang: an elegy

elbev | Jan 12, 2006 08:28 PM

Fellow chowhounds, please kindly excuse my inappropriate fit of nostalgia, and feel free to join in if you like.

Reading all of these posts about Xinh Xinh makes me pine for the fine days of Hu Tieu Nam Vang, which I discovered way back in the late '90s with some friends who were in town from Mexico and Mumbai after. We stumbled upon the place, nestled between the home of Buddha and his seitan and a number of generic pho phranchises after a long day of mostly boring conference, and I have been going back almost religiously ever since. Fresh rolls, spring rolls, noodles of all kinds, pho, bun, even the crab rangoons were superlative. To say nothing of the piece de resistance, the spicy fish hot pot filled with sticky sweet and tangy sauce that always required sopping up with the remainders of the rice - I have never tasted carmel fish or hot pot or whatever it translates as that even approaches the heights. Followed by most refreshing shakes of everything from tricolored beans to ground peanuts with cold coffee, soursop to sapota. All for shockingly low prices. I suspect their prosaic closure had something to do with the coming up of that massive condominium (I believe that is what it is) just across the road. On one of he last days I was there I remember seeing at least three dozen people in the street gawking at the magnificent sky-kissing crane that was hoisting up windows or someting.

I hold no ill will against Xinh Xinh - just because the proprietors can afford the rent does not make them complicit in the ousting of my beloved Nam Vang - but I have yet to go there and probably never will be able to without being haunted by the memory of the space's former occupants.

If anyone does have news about Nam Vang opening up again in Dorchester, which I believe I read of at one point in this cyberspace, then please by all means let your fellow chowhounds know what is the situation (though, as well all know, it will never be the same).

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