Due to my mom's love for ethnic food, ever since I was a babe I have been subjected to the standard rigamarole of diverse eating. She worked through a missionary cookbook and mastered cheap Asian and Latin American recipes, but the one cuisine that never managed to grace my palate was Thai.
And I have emerged a huge fan.
My exposure in this area has been threefold:
Mushrooms, noodles, bean sauce. Numbered "41" for the stupid Americans who couldn't pronounce was the dish actually was. I tried. I couldn't. But our waiter was Romanian, and I don't think he could either. It was Thai Town Restaurant, a tiny little sidewalk joint near the Adams Morgan Metro stop. We ate outside on the portico, just my mom and my dad and me. And, oh rare moment, we ate in silence, because our mouths were full.
New York, New York.
Pad Prik King, a curry without coconut milk.
When Ignite was in NYC a few weeks ago, the YWAM staff took us out to a nice sit-down dinner at the East Village's Spice Thai restaurant. The great thing about going out to eat with a group is getting to sample what everyone else ordered. My favorites were the massaman curry and the drunk man noodles, but not much could top what I ordered for myself. It was so spicy! Like something I had never tasted before, everything in one perfect dish.
Mango chicken curry.
It's possible that some things just taste better eaten at a picnic under the stars, but either way, Boston's Spice & Rice restaurant made plenty of money off the people who flocked to watch the fireworks on the Cambridge side of the Charles River where they set up their kiosk. It took great self-control to save a small portion for Sarah. I practically inhaled the savory, sweet, and spicy goodness.
Perhaps you say, my experience has been too limited? Perhaps you say, Thai is just a glorified fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisines. Perhaps you say, it just has too many peanuts! That might be true. But I am sold on Thai food.
People with peanut allergies, please stay far away from Thai food. It just would make me feel better.