Bun Bo Hue Minh's Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet IMAGE: vivianjohnson.com
The beautiful bowl before you is bun bo hue, a rice noodle soup that originated in the Vietnamese city of Hue, as served by Bun Bo Hue Minh (8560 SE Division St., 777-1917, $7). For the uninitiated who don't mind generalizations about other people's culinary culture, think of it as pho with the volume cranked up to 11, with a better broth, better veggies and weirder meat. Here's what to expect:
The broth: A slow-simmered beef brew, flavored with lemongrass and chiles. Order it spicy.
The noodles: Much thicker than the noodles usually used to make pho in Portland, these guys are slippery. Exercise care.
Beef shank: Sliced from a cow's leg. Tasty.
Pork patty: White. Rubbery. Salty.
Pork foot: Yeah, foot. Sliced thin. Crunchy.
Pork blood: The scary part. These little maroon cubes look like Jell-O and taste like coagulated blood. But in a good way.
ON THE SIDE
Banana blossom: Shredded, crunchy, slightly floral.
Iceberg lettuce: You know this one.
Bean sprouts: Crunchy.
Rau ram: Also known as Vietnamese mint or Vietnamese coriander, it tastes more like the latter.
Tia to: A Vietnamese variety of perilla that tastes somewhere in between mint and fennel.
Cilantro: Like American cilantro, but milder.
Nuoc Mam: Sliced bird chiles in fish sauce. Be careful—these will take your head off.
WEDNESDAY JULY 7
Dan Halsted's latest magical gathering of rare preview reels starts with a guy in a gorilla suit battling a guy in a metal gorilla suit on the Eiffel Tower, and gets wilder from there.
THURSDAY JULY 8
Matt Fraction—the man behind
—swoops in to Floating World to release the remastered, full-color version of his spy comic
FRIDAY JULY 9
Portland's vibrant arts hub PICA celebrates 15 years of contemporary programming with a Deelay Ceelay dance party, plus tacos and Mexican snow cones.
Melanya Helene reprises her Drammy-winning performance based on the writings of American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. The Brooklyn Bay, 1825 SE Franklin St., Bay K, 258-9000. 8 pm Fridays-Saturdays, 3 pm Sundays. Closes July 25. $12-$15.
[MUSIC] MOKA ONLY, CESCHI RAMOS, FACTOR
In just two short years, Fake Four Records has snowballed into one of the most interesting underground labels in America. Come see why as label founder/hip-hop solo artist Ceschi, veteran Canadian MC Moka Only and producer Factor hit the Ash Street. Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash St., 226-0430. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.
SATURDAY JULY 10
Last year a whopping 30,000 people descended on NoPo's prettiest success story for an all-day fete with bands, local beers, bites from local farmers and more than 100 crafty vendors. Plus, a "rib-off" competition.
[MUSIC] MIRAH, Y LA BAMBA
One of our longtime favorites, the lovely and talented Mirah is one part mysterious post-jazz diva and one part tireless experimental pop crusader. Tonight she appears alongside a newer favorite, haunting and gorgeous local folk-pop outfit Y La Bamba, whose fascinating forthcoming disc, Lupon, is nearly ready to drop. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10. 21+.