You know how people are always asking who you’d pick for your ideal dinner party, dead or alive? Well, I would choose to have a $6 dinner with President Obama and Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam. Alas, only a food and travel rock star like Anthony Bourdain has the pull to get Obama to share a meal with him in Hanoi during the lame duck portion of his presidency, while I sit at a Peet’s Coffee in Los Angeles blogging about it.
According to Eater, the dinner happened last night at Bún chả Hương Liên, whose specialty is bún chả, “a traditional dish hailing from Hanoi that consists of grilled pork served in a broth or dipping sauce, flanked by rice noodles and fresh herbs.”
Here’s an amazing picture from the meal:
You gotta love an Asian-cuisine hole-in-the-wall like this, with the metal tables, baskets of chopsticks, the sauces and vinegars, cheap beer, and of course, the delicious food that barely costs anything, as Bourdain brags about:
Bourdain and Obama had this meal for Bourdain’s excellent travel show Parts Unknown, with this episode set to air in September. Pretty much everybody in Hanoi, from the reporters who are tasked with following Obama around, to the locals, went gaga for the president’s visit. Here are some more fun pictures from Twitter:
Here’s Obama entering the restaurant like a freakin’ Beatle:
Here’s an approximation of what they ate: (Look at those fresh herbs! Does anyone do fresh herbs better than Vietnam? Discuss.)
A better angle of his entrance:
Excuse me while I look for cheap plane tickets to Hanoi:
What do you think they’re talking about? Hanoi’s history, culture and politics as exemplified by its grilled pork, I’m sure. Also how Obama has been the coolest lame-duck president, or coolest president ever.
Would it be out of bounds to call Obama the coolest president ever (regardless of your politics)? The only thing he could do to top this is appear onstage at a Beyonce concert or something.