On Han Lukito's suggetion I went to Pho Pasteur II for dinner tonight. It is located in the little Chinese strip mall achored by Marina Foods in Union City. In the same area there are China Tofu, a sushi boat place, a Szechen place called Golden Lake and some other odds and ends.
My friend and I shared some basic dish at Pho Pasteur. She ordered their combination noodle soup which came with chicken, pork and some seafood. I ordered the grilled shrimp and beef over rice. Both items were done well, nothing wrong and nothing too spectular. The broth in her soup was flavorful but not too complex, there were a good amount of meats and seafood in the bowl, for $5.95 it was a really good deal.
My grilled beef and shrimp was slighly more expensive at $6.95. It came with four grilled beef roll. I'm not sure if it's standard to have the beef rolled up and stuffed with onions but that's how the beef came. It was tasty, a bit on the chewy side but nothing I couldn't handle. A few shrimp and rice and picked veggies completed my dish.
It was a large, clean Vietnamese noodle joint. At dinner time most of the room was empty, though I imag they would do a brisk lunch business. I with there are more pho like that in the city.
After dinner we walked to the near by TapiocaExpress, a franchise store selling multi-flavor tapioca drinks and Taiwanese fastfood. Since I already eaten I was too full to try some of their really yummy sounding items: pepper crispy chicken, fried quid, fried rice cake (which is acutally made with rice and pig blood) and few other street food style food. What is interesting is they have combo meals, where if you ordered some of these food items, it comes with a drink!
They have over 150 kind of drinks ranging from tea to coffee to tofu pudding all available with or without tapioca. I had a taro flavored tofu pudding with tapioca and my friend had the papaya milk smoothie. I can't say I liked my taro tofu pudding drink...too wierd of a combination now that I think about it. But judging from the way the tapioca is prepared, chewy, toothsome, not over or under cooked, I know they know how to prepare a good tapioca drink. I would definite go back again and try more drinks and maybe order their snack foods.
I was curious about China Tofu so I walked in. For anybody looking for stinky tofu, look no further! They have it, I smelled it. I am a fan, so it actually smelled good to me. I saw someone eating it, and it looks good too. Again next time.
It was a long drive with horrible traffic, but it was worth it!