The Asian Infestation at The Saigon Mall Opening!

So, my family had heard the Vietnamese community clammoring about the opening of the new Saigon Mall strip out in Garland, Texas on the AM band radio station how there were sales and giveaways. Naturally… They wanted to go. I was about to evade going, but when Sol said “Dude, I am going too!” that changed my mind. We would take my father’s jade colored chariot to the market center and be graces with a scene that looked like this…

Behold! Chaos and Stuff!

We lucked out and actually got a parking space by the front doors. I knew I saw a packed house… but when the gateway to Vietnamese shopping goodness looked like the following picture, I knew it was going to be an interesting trip.

Lines and Crowds

The best way to describe my adventure through the Hong Phat Supermarket inside the Saigon Mall plaza was that I was basically line crawling through the grocery store… There was a level of chaotic order that I simply cannot describe. I will post something for the non-Asian folks to gawk at… Possibly one of the nastiest, vile smelling, deathly pungent scents in the world came from this fruit on sale:

Behold… DURIANS!!!
Durians... Smelliest Asian fruit ever!

Here’s an image to feebly try to capture the moments of chaos when I was passing along the butcher shop inside Hong Phat below…

Grocery Chaos

After struggling to find a rendezvous point with Sol, we would finally be able to pen down logistics and triangulate our positions. Our families would say they needed to try to gather supplies, but they had advise me, Sol, and my uncle to snack on something to quell our stomachs and our boredom. So we escaped Hong Phat market while fighting the crowds only to run into more crowds at Lee’s Sandwiches in the Saigon Mall plaza.

Hustle and Bustle at Lee's Sandwiches

It was packed house there as well… Why? Lee’s was giving away a $5 gift card for the purchase of any sandwich. So you had families placing sole orders alone and reaping a net total of $20 – $25! Sol, my uncle, and yours-truly would get 3 cups of their Vietnamese iced coffee and 3 baguette sandwiches for a ridiculously expensive $17! The price angered Sol as he figured he’d catch the bill from me and catching the bill at some of the fine establishments we had gone to. I can definitely agree with his anger as most hole-in-the-wall shops provide an excellent quality sandwich for almost 1/2 the price, tons more meat and fixing, and spectacular coffee for a less yuppie-scalping price. The sandwich was decent at the start but vastly went downhill as Sol and I bit through ours. The coffee we had came to a consensus that it’s pretty good, but it does not even come close to the creation over at Bistro B called the Cafe Dat Biet, which is hot Vietnamese coffee poured over ice and then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

After that part was done… We would re-link with the family and run into a whole bunch of family friends that I had not seen in years… It was an alright day, though in retrospect, Sol and I did wish we were catching lunch at Bistro B…

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