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Evanston Lunch Group: Ben Tre Cafe, Monday Jan 12, 12:30

Evanston Lunch Group: Ben Tre Cafe, Monday Jan 12, 12:30
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  • Evanston Lunch Group: Ben Tre Cafe, Monday Jan 12, 12:30

    Post #1 - December 18th, 2008, 9:44 am
    Post #1 - December 18th, 2008, 9:44 am Post #1 - December 18th, 2008, 9:44 am
    The Evanston lunch group meets next on Monday, January 12, 12:30 pm at Ben Tre Cafe for Vietnamese food.

    The Ben Tre Cafe discussion thread

    I'll call today and make sure they'll reserve space for us and if so, how large. If there are limits or problems, I'll report back.

    Ben Tre Cafe
    3146 W. Touhy
    Chicago
    (A tad east of McCormick on the north side of the street. Essentially at Touhy and Kedzie.)
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #2 - December 18th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Post #2 - December 18th, 2008, 9:46 am Post #2 - December 18th, 2008, 9:46 am
    I'm in! Sorry I missed the chance to wish you all the happiest of whatever you celebrate in person, but my wishes are with you all! See you then.
  • Post #3 - December 18th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Post #3 - December 18th, 2008, 11:32 am Post #3 - December 18th, 2008, 11:32 am
    See you there (and, technically, how far is a "tad"?)
  • Post #4 - December 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    Post #4 - December 18th, 2008, 11:47 am Post #4 - December 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    nr706 wrote:See you there (and, technically, how far is a "tad"?)


    A tad is less than a bit but more than a smidgen.

    In this instance, I think that Ben Tre is a block east of McCormick.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #5 - December 18th, 2008, 12:49 pm
    Post #5 - December 18th, 2008, 12:49 pm Post #5 - December 18th, 2008, 12:49 pm
    Ignore the giant golden arches next door, and you are there!

    And I'll be there on the 12th.

    (Thanks, ChgoMike and all, for adjusting the date to make it possible for me to attend!)
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #6 - December 18th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    Post #6 - December 18th, 2008, 1:40 pm Post #6 - December 18th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    If we're not getting too far ahead of ourselves, The French Couple volunteered (or had their arms twisted) to organize the February Evanston Lunch Group™ at Le Conakry.
  • Post #7 - December 19th, 2008, 10:17 am
    Post #7 - December 19th, 2008, 10:17 am Post #7 - December 19th, 2008, 10:17 am
    I'll join you at Ben Tre.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #8 - December 19th, 2008, 11:10 am
    Post #8 - December 19th, 2008, 11:10 am Post #8 - December 19th, 2008, 11:10 am
    I'll be there!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #9 - December 19th, 2008, 11:12 am
    Post #9 - December 19th, 2008, 11:12 am Post #9 - December 19th, 2008, 11:12 am
    nr706 wrote:If we're not getting too far ahead of ourselves, The French Couple volunteered (or had their arms twisted) to organize the February Evanston Lunch Group™ at Le Conakry.


    I'll be there, too!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #10 - December 20th, 2008, 9:19 pm
    Post #10 - December 20th, 2008, 9:19 pm Post #10 - December 20th, 2008, 9:19 pm
    I will also be there. Thanks.
    Elie
  • Post #11 - December 22nd, 2008, 1:45 pm
    Post #11 - December 22nd, 2008, 1:45 pm Post #11 - December 22nd, 2008, 1:45 pm
    Hey folks!

    I'd like to join youse as well. Last time I was there, having a impromptu solo lunch on a cold (but not THIS cold) day in November, Evanstonian MHays joined me for a steaming bowl of pho.

    Ben Tre is a real gem, the northernmost Vietnamese spot geographically in Chicagoland (unless you count Dung Gia by the Des Plaines train station). And, more importantly, the area has a soft spot in my heart because the (former) White Hen at the other end of the strip used to sell me beer when I was 16!

    So the twelfth it is!

    Jay
  • Post #12 - January 4th, 2009, 10:49 pm
    Post #12 - January 4th, 2009, 10:49 pm Post #12 - January 4th, 2009, 10:49 pm
    I see eight attendees so far:

    Mhays
    nr706
    tarte tatin
    GAF
    Pie Lady
    ett094
    jnm123
    me

    We've got a reservation for 10. So there's room for a couple more. And if there is additional interest I was told we may be able to make the reservation a wee bit larger.

    - Mike
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #13 - January 5th, 2009, 3:40 am
    Post #13 - January 5th, 2009, 3:40 am Post #13 - January 5th, 2009, 3:40 am
    ChgoMike wrote:A tad is less than a bit but more than a smidgen.


    If you know, pray tell, what then is a "tad bit" ? I met one or two non-Chicagoans at school down in Champaign who said this. Redundant? More than a tad, but less than a bit? Would that be the same as a a "scosh," or is that only used to describe trying to buy jeans that fit?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #14 - January 5th, 2009, 12:43 pm
    Post #14 - January 5th, 2009, 12:43 pm Post #14 - January 5th, 2009, 12:43 pm
    Katie wrote:
    ChgoMike wrote:A tad is less than a bit but more than a smidgen.


    If you know, pray tell, what then is a "tad bit" ? I met one or two non-Chicagoans at school down in Champaign who said this. Redundant? More than a tad, but less than a bit? Would that be the same as a a "scosh," or is that only used to describe trying to buy jeans that fit?


    You should come to lunch on the 12th. The discussion topic will be, "Describing Small Distances in Modernity: From Immanuel Kant to Britney Spears"
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #15 - January 5th, 2009, 12:46 pm
    Post #15 - January 5th, 2009, 12:46 pm Post #15 - January 5th, 2009, 12:46 pm
    Surely you can come up with a more intellectual philosopher to lock horns with Britney.
  • Post #16 - January 7th, 2009, 7:13 pm
    Post #16 - January 7th, 2009, 7:13 pm Post #16 - January 7th, 2009, 7:13 pm
    We will see you there,
    Robert and Catherine
  • Post #17 - January 11th, 2009, 10:49 am
    Post #17 - January 11th, 2009, 10:49 am Post #17 - January 11th, 2009, 10:49 am
    Room for one more?
  • Post #18 - January 11th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    Post #18 - January 11th, 2009, 1:08 pm Post #18 - January 11th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    Absolutely. We have a reservation for 12 now, with 11 seats occupied. Room for one more...
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #19 - January 12th, 2009, 12:39 am
    Post #19 - January 12th, 2009, 12:39 am Post #19 - January 12th, 2009, 12:39 am
    I'm in.
  • Post #20 - January 12th, 2009, 7:20 am
    Post #20 - January 12th, 2009, 7:20 am Post #20 - January 12th, 2009, 7:20 am
    Paul SL wrote:I'm in.


    This makes eleven.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #21 - January 12th, 2009, 7:37 am
    Post #21 - January 12th, 2009, 7:37 am Post #21 - January 12th, 2009, 7:37 am
    Unfortunately, I will not make it. I am very disappointed...
    Elie
  • Post #22 - January 12th, 2009, 8:09 am
    Post #22 - January 12th, 2009, 8:09 am Post #22 - January 12th, 2009, 8:09 am
    Wasn't sure until he walked in this morning whether or not the spouse would be available - but he is and would like to join.
  • Post #23 - January 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    Post #23 - January 12th, 2009, 10:54 am Post #23 - January 12th, 2009, 10:54 am
    ELG,

    Steve Z and I would like to join the ELG for lunch. I count 11 at present, if there is not enough room Steve and I will sit at a separate table and gaze fondly at your pho.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - January 12th, 2009, 11:17 am
    Post #24 - January 12th, 2009, 11:17 am Post #24 - January 12th, 2009, 11:17 am
    G Wiv wrote:Steve Z and I would like to join the ELG for lunch. I count 11 at present, if there is not enough room Steve and I will sit at a separate table and gaze fondly at your pho.


    No, that would be silly. We have room for Steve and I'm sure they have a table for one. And keep your eyes off my pho...

    Seriously, tho, they seem very accommodating. I don't think it will be a problem.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 11:47 am
    Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 11:47 am Post #25 - January 12th, 2009, 11:47 am
    I think the mods are just checking up on us to insure that we haven't been diluting the brand.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 11:55 am
    Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 11:55 am Post #26 - January 12th, 2009, 11:55 am
    Does that mean we have to be on our best (or maybe more appropriately, worst) behavior?
  • Post #27 - January 12th, 2009, 12:06 pm
    Post #27 - January 12th, 2009, 12:06 pm Post #27 - January 12th, 2009, 12:06 pm
    GAF wrote:I think the mods are just checking up on us to insure that we haven't been diluting the brand.

    Actually, I'd like you to autograph my copy of Kitchens
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #28 - January 12th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    Post #28 - January 12th, 2009, 1:51 pm Post #28 - January 12th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    I'm so sorry I had to leave early! I hated to be rude, I was having such a good time. I thought since the place is so close to work that I could stay the whole time, but sadly no. I guess I'll have to count myself out for La Conakry, whenever that one will be. :oops:
    Please tell me if I owe someone money for my lunch, I'll get the difference to you asap. Hope everyone's lunch was tasty!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #29 - January 12th, 2009, 4:24 pm
    Post #29 - January 12th, 2009, 4:24 pm Post #29 - January 12th, 2009, 4:24 pm
    Yeah, PieLady, I was the second to bail, work was calling its siren song of voice mail messages. But I got to try most everything...

    Great fun tho, Ben Tre was (I think) hitting on all cylinders. Wish I could've rapped with everyone--what a wide variety of interests with y'all! Talked tuneage with fellow musician PaulSL. Finally met the tag team of SteveZ & GWiv, LTH legends both of them. Gary was quite adept at ladling the pho--I was impressed. I'll be looking forward to da pics, especially the 'goat hat'.

    And Chgo Mike, baby Alice in tow, was the perfect host.

    Until we convene again,

    Jay
  • Post #30 - January 12th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    Post #30 - January 12th, 2009, 7:12 pm Post #30 - January 12th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    Well, I'll hop in - even though I have no pictures. What a nice lunch! I really enjoyed everything I tried; all that ordering power made it much better than I remembered.

    Highlights for me were the salt-and-pepper squid, squid tubes that had been cut in a crosshatch pattern and fried in a really tasty batter until they looked like tiny pineapples. Not sure of the seasoning, but it went well beyond salt and pepper. The special Pho was very good, a nicely flavored broth with chunks of meat floating around in it - meatball, steak, and some unidentified jowly-looking bit that was delicious. Meatball spring rolls were another surprise - the meatball looked for all the world like a sliced hotdog, but was similar to the meatballs in the pho, but nicely-charred and flavorful. But the highlight for me was the chance to try their Bahn xeo, which I've never had before, but had just been reading about! It was a light, crispy pancake - hard to believe there aren't eggs in there - filled with bean sprouts. I will be firing up the kitchen as soon as I can get some mung beans and coconut milk.

    As always, it was lovely to see everyone - thanks for organizing, Mike! I'll be setting up the February lunch, so if anyone has any ideas, please PM me. We'd loosely discussed the north side of town (or maybe Wilmette.)

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