Greetings, cavepeeps. 

While I was dealing drugs in the middle of the night, I chowed on deli roast beef, half a baked yam, leftover Green Chicken, and frozen broccoli.

At daybreak, I sped back to the hotel, picked up the boys, and headed to Big-O’s baseball game.

As soon as the game was over, I came home to pass out because even vampires need their beauty rest. 

While I slept during the afternoon, the boys went to M’s Giants-themed birthday party in the city.

Happy birthday, sweetie!

My boys spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the aisles at Green Apple Books

…and dancing in the streets.

When we reunited in the evening, I didn’t want to waste time cooking dinner so we hopped in our car and drove to Asian Box.

Asian Box is a casual, order-at-the counter, Vietnamese spot in Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.

This ain’t no sketchy hole-in-the-wall banh mi joint. Asian Box promises high-quality food served up quickly: everything’s gluten-free, the meats and veggies are sourced from local farms, and executive chef Grace Nguyen has mad cooking chops (she worked at both Slanted Door and Out the Door).

For your meal, you choose a base (rice, noodles, or veggies), a protein (6-spice chicken, lemongrass pork, shrimp, or tofu), toppings, and a sauce. The servers are well-informed and will help you customize your order if you’ve got picky dietary restrictions (*ahem!*)

I’m perfectly aware that most menu items contain sugar or some sort of sweetener but since I’m not doing a Whole30 or a 21-Day Sugar Detox, I didn’t care. You do need to live a little sometimes.

Hubby and I split a double-order of lemongrass marinated pork over Asian vegetable salad (hold the dressing) with steamed vegetables, jalapenos, fresh herbs, pickled veggies, fresh lime, caramel egg, and housemade sriracha ($13.90)…

…and a double-order of lime basil topped shrimp with the same fixings ($14.50).

We were alerted by the server that the shrimp was seasoned with soy sauce but we decided to try it anyway.

(Besides, Mark Sisson says fermented soy may not be the worst thing in the world.)

Between the two dishes, we both preferred the lemongrass pork because it was flavorful, juicy, and the right blend of savory and sweet.

Definitely spend the $0.95 to add a caramel egg to you plate (unless you’re avoiding the small amount of sugar in the braising liquid)…

…and double your protein for an additional $5.

Oh, Vietnamese food, how I’ve missed you!

Before I bid you adieu, I wanted to alert my peeps in the Bay Area about some new options for high-quality, pastured meat from my favorite purveyors:

  • 4505 Meats now offers a Butcher’s Bag. You get a reusable, insulated bag that comes with a pack each of grind, chicharrones, and sausages. You add your choice of cuts and the more you buy, the bigger the discount. Read about it here. 
  • Brandon Natural Beef is delivering Paleo Pantry Grass-Fed Packs to your doorstep. Check it out here. (Update: BNB is now being offered  nationally via Lava Lake Lamb. Please visit this link.)
  • Full of Life Farms is offering free home delivery in select cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland area. Their pastured pork may be the best I’ve ever eaten. Click here for more info.
  • Early Bird Ranch in Pescadero offers an egg subscription where you can get 10 dozen pastured eggs for $45. You can pick them up weekly in Pescadero and Half Moon Bay or monthly in Menlo Park. Plus, they also offer delicious pastured chickens, ducks, and turkeys. 

If you don’t live here in the Bay Area, I’m sorry. Remember – you can get fantastic pastured meat shipped from TX Bar Organics, Lava Lake Lamb, or U.S. Wellness Meats.

May the meat be with you!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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