This article is written in English for the honor of our friends in LA. We hope to see David and Randy in Hanoi in the spring – and as we’ve been talking about on Skype with them, it isn’t impossible to have an almost American life here. Although you have to get used to paying a lot less…
The burger here is absolutely the best in town. Tracy’s Sports Bar is just around the corner – literally spoken, 5 min walk, and serves the ultimate burger. Rumors says that they have been working on it for months to become perfect. The owner used to work with McDonalds and since McDonalds chose not to get into Hanoi, he saw the market of selling “real American burgers” laying there, just to pick it up! He trained his staff to make the burger the same way every time – EVERY time – and it turned out very well. Quality is one of the very big problems here – it seems impossible to have the Vietnamese make the same thing twice in exactly the same way. Always something different whether you have sushi, fruit smoothies or a massage. But not with this burger. Always the same – always good – always still hot when brought to your door at around 6 USD.
This is a scoop. Starbucks!!!! REALLY!!! There was never any Starbucks product here – and for sure there is no Starbucks café in Hanoi. Then we’d known…. But suddenly a few days ago in the grocery store called Veggies – the one with the most American products – we saw 2-3 different kinds of Starbucks Frappucinos in glass bottles. We’ve gotten used to a lot of other American stuff there – but some things only for a short while, others you can get all the time. I think some of the stuff gets there in a legal way – others not. Therefore I cannot promise this heavenly drink will be available – but as it was here, it was only 3 USD.
So western food and well known brands are no problem here any more. In 2007 we experienced that the supply of western stuff did vary a lot. Sometimes we couldn’t get skimmed milk for 1 month, at other times it was special kinds of chocolate (and YES, this is an important issue!!!!) that disappeared for weeks.
We can get marshmellows, Betty Crocker cake mix, Hershey’s chocolate in all kinds, Heinz ketchup, Danish Buttercookies, German mash potato powder, Nescafe caffein free coffee and more kinds of Jello that I’ve ever wanted to…… don’t you worry about having only rice and noodles!!