Saturday, February 27, 2010


Yesterday a friend and I stopped at Best Baguette for one of their Bahn mi sandwiches. This bright and airy sandwich shop sells these newly famous Vietnamese sandwiches and I had read about Best Baguette in last Friday's Oregonian . I only got around to tasting my first Bahn mi in New York last spring and I was hooked. A combination of meat, raw and pickled vegetables, sandwiched in a French-style baguette with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior, you can add shot of sriricha sauce, a delicious and fiery chili garlic condiment, and you've got the makings of a fabulous sandwich. Best Baguette offers fifteen different varieties of Bahn mi filled with grilled chicken or pork or beef, or pate or all vegetables or shredded pork with pork skin. This is a hefty sandwich, so you can imagine my shock at paying $2.95 for a grilled pork version marinated in a lemongrass-soy dressing. It also had shredded fresh carrot, cilantro and jalapena slices, and it tasted amazing. The least expensive is the pate at $2.55 and the most expensive is something called Nem Noung--grilled pork flavored with traditional seasonings. Two of us had a sandwich each, a coke and a diet coke, and they threw in free cups of soft ice cream--all for under $10! I also bought their delicious half-baguettes and threw them in the freezer when I got home. I'm thinking I may try to make my own version of a Bahn mi sandwich, though at these prices it seems ridiculous to even bother!

It's ridiculous to even contemplate the Republican mind these days. Thursday's summit at Blair House was typical. Each of those fools lined up to tell the President Obama that the plan should be scrapped and we should start all over again. One by one, each of them parroted this statement. President Obama was right to treat them with condescension and a weary dismissal. Nancy Pelosi got angry at their feeble attempt to raise the specter of abortion, and Harry Reid got into the act about reconciliation. It is a no brainer to understand that Republicans see a national health care program as an entitlement--one that has sustained the populations of most of Europe, China, and South America. To come this far now and not have a national health care plan would mean that everyone in Washington, D.C. has been wasting the country's time and resources on yet one more failure. And if that happens they all need to go home.

Ever since I found out the bush in the front of my house which nearly obscures the window of my guest room is a camellia, I've been anxious to know what color it is. I thought it might be red or pink. About a week ago, I found out it is white. And today the finally have begun to open and so I grabbed my camera. It was a gorgeous sunshine day in Portland--clear and crisp at about 60 degrees, which I suspect my eastern pals will not be amused by since they have been inundated with snow and bad weather. My sincere sympathy. Now on to the camellias.