Breakfast: Vietnamese Steak & Eggs

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A typical Vietnamese breakfast may look a lot like lunch. Savory dishes are preferred; a bowl of noodles, either pho or hu tieu, and chao, a traditional rice porridge, are pretty common breakfast fare. French baguettes are a favored breakfast item as well, especially accompanying Bo Ne Bit Tet, a Vietnamese interpretation of the essential American breakfast of steak and eggs.

Bo Ne Bit Tet loosely translates to "stand back" beef steak, as this dish is commonly served on a sizzling iron skillet, ironically in the shape of a cow, and you have to stand back so you don't get splattered by the grease. There are many different variations to the dish -- it can be served with potatoes, meatballs and even pate. It's not healthy by any means, but it's good, old-fashioned Vietnamese comfort food.

On Saturdays, the "Weekend Special" at Huynh Restaurant is a simple version of the dish.

Huynh's Bit Tet arrives with a small piece of steak, a sunny side up egg and a couple of slices of lap xuong (Vietnamese sausage) and, of course, toasted French bread. The first order of business is to break the egg yolk, letting it run and mix in with the steak and the sausage. The thin-cut piece of steak has a great lemongrass and garlic flavor. The hot skillet continues to cook each element. The egg begins to get a nice crust at the bottom, the lap xuong continues to brown, and the bits of garlic and onion continue to caramelize. The French bread is used to sop everything up.

It is a heavy meal, but the portion is just enough, and paired with Hunyh's amazing Vietnamese coffee, it's a great alternative to your traditional breakfast/brunch.

For a more substantial lunch version of Bo Ne Bit Tet, try Tan Ba Le Baguette.

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