After the drive from Naperville to Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, relaxing tea and friend time and some errands, we were ready for lunch.  Lunch happened in a small Vietnamese restaurant–Xinh Xinh Cafe.  (If you want to look at the menu, I’ve included the rather long link at the end of the post so as not to clog up the post for those who aren’t interested.)  My friend had a quintessential Vietnamese dish–pho–pronounced not “foe” but “fah.”    Her Pho Chay was vegan:  rice noodles in a clear broth with tofu and a variety of vegetables, served with a side of Thai basil leaves, long coriander, bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers and lime wedges.  It looked amazing.


As tempting as this sounded and looked, my heart often yearns for noodle dishes, so I choose Bun Dau Hu Chien, a vermicelli bowl with rice stick noodles served on a bed of greens, fresh herbs and bean sprouts topped with chopped vegetable egg roll, roasted peanuts and a side of vegan fish sauce for dressing.  It was cool (in temperature), except for the stir fried tofu, and completely refreshing.


We split a mango milk bubble tea, also called boba or pearl tea after the sweet tapioca pearls that languish on the bottom of the drink until sucked up through a wide straw.


It was a perfectly delicious day, which fortunately wasn’t over for some time.  But that’s a food post for another day.


The menu can be found here:

  1. I’ve never had Vietnamese food before. Looks quite good.

  2. That -does- look fantastic! I’m sad that I didn’t have more time to eat around in Hawaii, since there were tons of vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese options- Way more than around my hometown, and possibly even NYC. I did get some rockin’ Thai food though… Awesome pad see ew with tofu, minus egg. 🙂

  3. I have not had Vietnamese food, either. Interesting.