HCMC Dining Guide

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm a Glutton

In spite of the fact that I'm a pretty thin guy, I am able to put away some obscene amounts of food from time to time. Usually, I enjoy such binge eating quite a lot. Living in Saigon, land of the $2 meal, certainly doesn't help matters. One can eat multiple meals here for the price of one back in the U.S. It also doesn't help that some of my favorite international restaurants have spectacular deals on their food. When you eat nothing but rice and noodle dishes all week long, the sight of a juicy hamburger or an oily pizza can really get your heart racing. 

This past weekend, I joined a couple of my friends in four days of glorious gluttony that involved a giant hamburger, heaps of ice cream, piles of Indian food, and a mountain of pizza.

First up: The "Big Cheese" burger at Black Cat, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. To quote from the menu, the Big Cheese consists of a "500 gram patty, four slices of cheese, six slices of bacon, three tomatoes, one onion, one head of butter lettuce, and one pickle served on a jumbo toasted sesame seed bun for a total of 1.5 kilos!" (That's over 3 pounds.) I had been talking about tackling this burger for a while with my friends Amy and Allison, and we decided to split one for a laugh. The burger was indeed huge, but it stood no chance in the face of our ravenous appetites. As a sign of our awesomeness, we polished off the Big Cheese in about five minutes, and still had room for an order of french fries. I'm not sure if I would want to try to eat a whole one of those on my own, but I think sharing it with just one other person would be more fulfilling.

Bigger than my hand.

Crappy pic, but that was my section of the burger.

Om nom nom
Next: Friday at Fanny's, in District 1. This premium ice cream establishment offers an all-you-can-eat buffet on the first Friday of every month, from 6:30pm to 11pm, for 110,000 dong. The place was an absolute mad house, but it was actually pretty easy to get the ice cream you wanted. That being said, this is a highly dangerous deal, as we simply stuffed ourselves in about 10 minutes and felt sick afterwards. Great ice cream though, in fact I had about 20 scoops. Go ahead, judge me.


The third stop on our grand tour of gorging was Mumtaz, my favorite Indian restaurant in Saigon. On Saturdays, Mumtaz has an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for 110,000 dong. I went with Allison and, considering how much we love Indian food, we knew we would be hurting afterwards, but I'm honestly not sure if I've ever felt so full. I had two huge plates of rice, along with chicken masala, chicken tandoori, eggplant curry, and a yogurt-like sauce, as well as a healthy helping of garlic naan. I honestly thought I was going to vomit on one of my kindergarteners during my afternoon class, but I powered through. Believe me, it was worth it. In the words of Allison, "It hurts like yum." I wasn't even hungry again until the next morning.
After two plates of this size, I was ready to blow.

Last stop: Scoozi's, an Italian cafe in District 1, which serves the best pizza in the city. On Sundays, they offer an awesome deal: buy any premium pizza, and choose from one of five basic pizzas for free. None of the pizzas cost more than $7, so this is one of the best value promotions in the city. It's become somewhat of a Sunday afternoon routine to hit up Scoozi's, and I've split four pizzas with three people, as well as six with five people twice. That's what we did today, although I didn't have my camera with me, so here are some photos from a previous, similar trip:

I didn't even keep track of how many slices I ate, but it was a lot. That being said, my stomach was so stretched out after Indian food the day before that taking all of the pizza down was quite easy.

So, after four days of eating almost nothing more than these four meals, suffice it to say that I'm feeling pretty disgusting. But everything was delicious, and I'll definitely be returning to Black Cat, Fanny's, Mumtaz, and Scoozi's soon, although certainly not for eating of such epic proportions. Time to cleanse myself...

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