It had that too, of course, but it made me work for it. A handwritten sign on an already out-of-the-way street pointed down a narrow alley that skirted a lotus pond. The sign said 'My Quang'. No mi quang in sight after 100 meters or so, only frogs and old motorcycle parts, I was about ready to turn around when I saw the sign again, posted outside someone's house. Only previous experience eating in Asia allowed me to semi-confidently walk into what appeared to be a family's living room while they were shucking cassava and demand that they feed me noodles at 2:00 in the afternoon. And yes, it was worth it.
The best food Hue had waiting for me, though, was something called 'com hen' – rice with tiny clams, pork skins, sour starfruit, banana blossoms, and assorted greens. I had heard tell of such a thing, but had to cross two rivers to find it. Passing deserted rice restaurant after deserted rice restaurant was discouraging, but it happened that it was just because all of Hue was eating lunch at the one we eventually found. The ladies serving it also got a good laugh out of Julian's attempts to explain vegetarianism. The word 'chay' that works everywhere else was lost on them. What do you MEAN you don't eat tiny clams?? Who doesn't eat tiny clams??
Appetizer-size banh khoai, like mini banh xeo, awaited us at every turn. Banh beo showed up on every menu, casually, like, yeah, this is something you just get to eat every day. There were nem lui, these spam lookalike pork sticks whose association with spam disappeared the instant the spices and sour mango accompaniment hit my tongue.