The very first time I ever ate bun bo hue was two summers ago when I was travelling with a few friends through Vietnam. We had just taken a twelve hour overnight train ride from Hanoi to Hue and despite the fact that we had just eaten a very good lunch, my friend Chris and I asked the waitress where we would be able to get a good bowl of the city's specialty dish. After some aimless wandering we miraculously managed to find the exact location she recommended. We ordered two bowls of bun bo hue in a dingy, empty restaurant run by some cranky Vietnamese people who didn't speak English. It was delicious. That night, after dining on a rooftop patio, Chris and I went and ate another bowl each on the side of the road.
I hadn't eaten another bowl of bun bo hue since until about a month ago. Maybe I just wanted to preserve the memory and the feelings I had associated with eating those two bowls on that trip. Or maybe it was just because I didn't know where to find it from Calgary. Regardless, we received a tip from our cousin that there was a place called Bun Bo Hue Deli where you can bring an empty pot and have them fill it up with everything you need to make the noodle soup. A pot of bun bo hue for the four of us costs about $20.
The broth is incredibly rich and flavourful, and the meat balls are so damn tasty sometimes I just want to hoard all of them (not recommended when sharing with other people). It's definitely different from what I had in Vietnam - the noodles are much thicker and the dried pork's blood is missing - but man is this some good noodle soup.