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[Houston] Mai's burns down


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My first and favorite Vietnamese restaurant burned down as well - Huong Truc in San Jose. That's where I discovered mam nem, for starters. And the rest of the Vietnamese cuisine. The staff there was always happy to give me an extra *pint* of it with my to go orders. I guess it impressed them that a barely 20 year old White guy loved something that some Vietnamese people won't even touch. They specialized in Bo Mon 7, but had everything from frog legs to curried snails. It was a hugely popular late night restaurant with the Viet crowd - so you wanted to avoid it at those times (I've never been too fond of the Vietnamese language - especially with a table full of 8 mildly drunk 20-somethings all talking over each other at the same time).

Since I lived right across the street, I walked by there every night on my way home. On several occasions they invited me and gave me a container of something to-go for me to try. They would write the name of the dish on the box and try and explain what it was, but I could never really understand. But I always ate everything with glee, even if I didn't know what it was. I would take the empty box to work and sometimes my Vietnamese co-workers never even heard of the exact dish. but I would take often those box lids back and just hand it to them and they would give me more (this time as a paying customer). I was a very adventurous eater.

Which brings up another question about what I was eating. We called them "naturally stuffed intestines". They were a sausage of some sort made out of whole intestinal sections (liek real liverwurst). The insides had some bits of vegetables you could see, but the the rest of the mixture was a a mystery. It was mildly flavored, but had the color of ... poo. And a very odd texture. Anybody know the name of this sausage? I always figured it they force fed pigs before slaughter, and this was the result. Hence the nickname, "naturally stuffed intestines".

My first attempt to figure it out 13 years ago:



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