I am usually all for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I like to think that one of my strongest character traits is I will try new foods, new places, and new adventures (unless it involves heights where I’m not safely enclosed, snakes, or stupid scary masks – – I do not play! I hate scary masks! I’m looking at you, Jonathan!) But for the most part, bring it on ❤ With this in mind, my friend Christopher, a lover of all things Asian culter, suggested I try Bambu Desserts & Drinks located at 2743 Nicollet Ave. They have several locations throughout the country, but this is the only one in Minnesota.
They offer a decent size menu ranging from smoothies, Vietnamese coffee, and Chè. The Chè is why we were there. For those who don’t know what Chè is, it is a Vietnamese word for home-made beverages, dessert drinks, and puddings. Their Chè is “made to order using freshly cut coconut water or daily prepared coconut milk combined with select exotic, healthy and delicious ingredients.” The place is small but lovely. Grays and white throughout, modern furnishings, pops of yellow – – very welcoming!
With the formalities out of the way, let me add a disclaimer here — I have a texture issue. One that will cause me to make faces and odd sounds I didn’t know I was capable of except in these moments. (It is best if you keep bread pudding on the other side of the room.) With that knowledge about myself, once I saw what Christopher had gotten me into, I knew it would be a struggle for me. But again, I will try new things and since it wasn’t a snake or a guy in an ugly mask, I had no excuses.
There are 15 drinks on the Chè menu. I went with the Fruit Addict (coconut milk, jello, lychee, longan, jackfruit, palm seed, red tapioca, coconut and pandan jelly). Christopher had the Coconut Combo (fresh coconut juice, jello, lotus seed, longan and coconut meat). Ben, my 11-year-old son, looked at us like we were both nuts, and ordered a Strawberry Banana smoothie which he loved! I took several tentative drinks – – good so far but all I was getting was the coconut milk. I stirred it up and decided to just go for it and took a big drink. Fruits, jellies, seeds…… it was sensory overload for my texture sensitive brain. I made faces and sounds…. I’m not proud of it. Sucking it through a straw was never going to happen for me, so I dug in with a spoon. That was a much better approach. I was able to taste everything individually and really appreciate it for what it was. ❤
In the end, I only finished half of it, but I am willing to go back and try other options. There are 15 of them, so I feel one of them will be a good fit for me. They are beautiful to look at and I enjoyed it when broken down. I did leave with a Vietnamese coffee and it was amazing! Very smooth and rich flavors. I loved it. I would also like to thank the woman behind the counter. She was amazing, patient, and kind while I figured out what I wanted. Stunning inside and out! ❤
I apparently was in the mood to test my comfort zone both in food and books. I think my brain is begging for a nice latte and a cozy romance novel at this point. After reading Dear Mr. M. by Herman Koch, I agreed. 😀
This book took me very far out of my comfort zone. It actually took me longer to read than any other book in recent history. Not because it wasn’t good, or because the writing wasn’t fantastic, but I have not read many books from a stalkers point of view (or who, in the beginning, I assumed to be a stalker). His word made me uneasy and creeped out….which just goes to show how brilliantly he wrote this character! I had to set the book down and step away from time to time, read something a little lighter, and then come back to it. Once the story picked up, though and I accepted this for what it was, I flew through it. If you liked The Dinner, you will like this!
Mr. M is an older Dutch author. His most famous novel was Payback; his first. Payback is based on the true-life events of a young teacher who had a relationship with one of his female students. When she calls it off, he becomes obsessed with her. In a moment that makes both reader and characters uncomfortable, the teacher shows up and the student’s home where she is staying with her current boyfriend. The teacher ends up disappearing, making the two students the top suspects for his disappearance and potential murder. While most everyone loved Mr. M’s book, there is someone closely connected to that event that does not feel the same. And so starts the letters to Mr. M.
This book is told from several different viewpoints (five) and in two different timeframes, with no transition really. You could have five chapters from one perspective, one chapter from one, etc. It was constantly swinging and I enjoyed it. It was a nice reprieve at times, and for me, desperately needed. J One thing I love to do with these types of books is trying to piece it all together before the ending in a, “HA! (author’s name here) you can’t fool me!” There was none of that here. NONE! When I thought I had it figured out, I was wrong. I was ok with it, because honestly, it does make a book more fun when you don’t figure it out.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers, especially if you are a fan of Herman Koch. Like all his books, it makes you think, cringe, and question, but mostly it’s a great ride.
Thank you Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read this book!
I’m actually pretty proud of myself for sticking with this book. There were times in the beginning where I didn’t think I would be able to. Same with the drink at Bambu. I’m glad I didn’t let my texture issues get in the way of trying a new place. I’m looking forward to going back. I need to step out of my comfort zone more often. I think I’m missing out on some good stuff!
What about you? Any good out of your comfort zone stories?? 🙂
Bambu Desserts & Drinks ✰✰✰✰✰