Friday, August 14, 2009

jam packed

Ahhhh you know how sometimes you have those days that are just so JAM PACKED with funness, and it makes the rest of the days of the week or the month just become this boring blur? Today was one of those!

The last day of camp was precious and lovely. In numbers:

4: the number of fire fighters who came to show the kids the fire truck and spray them off with the hose, thus making them the happiest kids on earth

1: the number of firefighters who was CUUUUUUUUUTE! I know Sarah is also a fan of the cute fireman!

6: the number of slices of watermelon I consumed (that was most of my lunch- I had salad, too, and planned a Greek yogurt but it was too hot for anything but watermelon!)

1: the number of times I went down a Slip n Slide, fully clothed! Amaaaaaaazing. Slip n slides are the bomb diggity.

0: the number of days I have left of work. I am DUNZO!

Now on to tonight. As if today weren’t fun enough, my childhood best friend (daughter of my mom’s best friend, who I last saw in… 5th grade?) is passing through town and staying at our house. So fun!

We decided to take her to Four Sisters, which is a local institution. Vietnamese food is HUGE in Northern Virginia, and this place was one of the first and is one of the best. Tom Sietsema, the Washington Post restaurant critic, is a total snob and never gives four stars, but this place, despite being in a glorified strip mall (which is actually a step up from the Eden Center, its previous location, an epicenter for Great Vietnamese but also the not uncommon site of Vietnamese gang gun-fueled turf brawls) got four stars!

We got an outside table:


Eating outside! Like Greece! Except instead of the Parthenon, there’s an Exxon… oh, suburban life.

We decided to start with apps. Here’s my plate:


On the left, shrimp toast (which got a special shoutout in the Post review and was quite tasty) with duck sauce and on the right, my always beloved summer roll, with peanut sauce.

The menu was more like the size of a full-on book, and after a lot of agonizing I decided to get what’s called bun, pronounced, apparently, like “boon”. Rice vermicelli, veggies (shredded carrot, jicama, bean sprouts, and cucs), herbs, and my chosen topping of grilled shrimp.


The shrimp was peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerfectly cooked! I love to grill, but the person in the kitchen at 4 sisters is a true master. This dish was very refreshing, especially doused in Sriracha!

My mom’s plate I had to document because it was so unusual looking!


“Caramelized tofu baked in a clay pot”. Doesn’t it look like tandoori? It was, in fact, very sweet-spicy, and totally delicious.

While I took a picture of mom’s, my sister sighed heavily and was like “look, I’m hungry, so just get over taking a picture of mine and then let me eat in peace.” Uh, actually hadn’t planned on taking it in the first place, but since she asked!


This was a rice paper wrap, and had… shrimp balls? I guess you would call them? They were skewered on sugar cane and grilled. SO unusual! I had a nibble and they were tasty.

Then Suzanne, the guest of honor, was like “Hey, go ahead and take mine too!” hahahah.

She got the lettuce wraps with lemongrass beef, which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy.


So a good time was had by all! We had planned a trip to the monuments at night (I highly recommend that to any people planning DC visits- cooler, less tourists, all dramatic and lit up!) but Suzanne had seen them earlier in the day with her friends, so instead we went to Old Town Alexandria, which is where George Washington hung out back in the day and is now a really nice cobblestoned area by the waterfront with sexy places to eat. We strolled around for awhile, and admired some people demonstrating, like… Brazilian… fight… dancing? Dance fighting? Not sure, but it was cool.


Then we went and got ice cream! Here’s my childhood bestie and I!  


That blur in my right hand would be a mint chocolate chip cone. HEAVEN on a warm night!


Healthy Beach Bum said...

what yummy eats! Those summer rolls dipped in peanut sauce look amazing. Now I'm craving chinese food! :) Have a great weekend girly <3

Eireni said...

Hey girl, the brazilian "dance fighting" is called capoeira ( I think that's how it's spelled), just a tidbit in case you were wondering! :)

Linda - one scoop at a time said...

Hi Lele,
The Vietnamese food looks amazing. I'm a big fan of the cold noodles but have never tried shrimp toast. If you have time, can you describe it?

Lele said...

While not 100% certain, I know it involves an outer layer of bread (my guess would be baguette-style bread, since there is such cultural fusion between the Vietnamese and the French because of the whole, yknow, occupation thing), a light shrimp mousse that I think had green onions in it, and frying. But if done properly, non-greasy frying. And there are sesame seeds on top.