Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Eating Vietnamese

It has been said that the American craving for Asian food developed in full force after American GI's began returning from the Pacific Theater following World War II. Other sources seem to indicate that the American palate acquired a taste for such flavors during the days of the California Gold Rush and the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad where huge numbers of Chinese workers were employed. In either case, I have fallen victim to an almost addictive attachment the cuisine of Vietnam.

It all began innocently enough. One of my friends and classmates, an immigrant from Vietnam, asked me to accompany him to a little restaurant called, conveniently enough, the Saigon. They serve, as their specialty, sandwiches (a delicacy brought to them first from France during the colonial days) and enormous bowls of soup featuring rice or egg noodles, and a wonderful variety of meat. From the time of my first visit until now, I would say that on average, six out of ten meals that I eat away from the seminary are eaten at that little restaurant. Business is typically booming, and while it is not unusual for me to be the only person of European descent among the clientele, I know that they receive a good deal of business from other seminarians. I am never long in waiting for a table.

Recently, one of the waiters remarked that he remembered that I had ordered the same meal as the last time I was there. I expect that it will only be a matter of time until I am on a first name basis with the entire staff.

I comment on all of this simply because I ate there again today (this time with my friend who first introduced me to the place as well as two other seminarians), and I am continually impressed with the experience. As I take a break from paper-writing this evening, I am forced to take pause and wonder: What am I going to do when I return home? I can't think of a single place that serves Vietnamese soup and sandwiches in Western South Dakota.


Jodi said...

Where exactly is this place? Jim and I may have to check it out. We are always looking for a good Asian restaurant. I'm not sure the last time I've had Vietnamese. Good luck on all the papers.

Anonymous said...


Jinglebob said...

Perhaps you just need to learn to make this food yourself, or find someone who can and coerce them into living close to you, where ever you go. ;)

J. Thorp said...

Such good food the world over -- but you gotta commit to cook it! We've been dabbling ever so slightly in Asian cooking, but you never have the right ingredients on-hand. And once you by them, you gotta use 'em up before they turn. I think Jinglebob's plan B is the best bet, if there's truly no such place in Rapid ...

J. Thorp said...

As it turns out, I found a listing for a Vietnamese place in Rapid, called, incidentally, Saigon Restaurant.


Tyler said...

I am familiar with the Saigon in Rapid City. While the fare is good, it tends toward more generically Asian foods, and alas, does not produce the sandwiches or soups I have come to know here.

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