M found a Vietnamese market in our neighborhood! (well, roughly, it's on Park just west of 14th street NW, wedged between a more pedestrian, for this neighborhood, Latino market and hair salon) You have no idea how wonderful this is for us recently transplanted from Seattle (and Uwajimaya), who for the past year have had to make pilgrimages to the suburban Northern VA H-Mart for our Asian staple needs. Now we need only walk a few blocks to load up on our rice, nam bla/ngoc mam (fish sauce), rice stick, Thai chiles, fried garlic, etc. And they have frozen lemongrass! I'm looking forward to trying some of that, along with the ubiquitous meatballs ('luk chin' in Thai) in our noodle bowls this winter. And maybe some of the Pho seasoning that they sell; the one time I tried to make Pho from scratch at home it was somewhat of a disaster.
After our perusal of the market, we went and sat in the park across from the tennis courts on 16th street (across from the Mount Pleasant library), eating our snacks (Some kind of steamed coconut milk cake thingy with shrimp and some other mochi-like steamed rice cakes with dried shrimp and scallions)and drinking tamarind drink and sweetened chrysanthemum tea while we watched the kids biking around and playing. Having little snacks like this in public parks reminds me of the times I used to spend with my dad after he'd picked me up from gymnastics, and we'd go to his friend's Thai/Vietnamese market, pick up some Banh Mi or rice rolls, and eat them in the Stewartville lakeside park.
There's a Vietnamese restaurant a couple doors down from this place that advertises Pho and Banh Mi, but when we went there to see about getting a snack, the sight of gamblers clustered around a table in the front scared us off (they didn't exactly look like they were serving food, although there was a woman at a table by the window eating).
Now, I'm off to make some summer rolls!