By the Sunday after Thanksgiving, most of us will be hungering for something—anything—other than yet another turkey sandwich. So how about authentic homemade Thai food, served with grace and good cheer at a Buddhist temple? As it happens, DaveCook reports on Chowhound, this November 25 is the day of the annual Royal Kathin celebration at Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram in Elmhurst, Queens. After a ceremony in which the temple's monks receive new robes—as well as offerings of rice from lay Buddhists—everyone in attendance is invited to share in a lavish Thai buffet.
Jeffsayyes, who's been to past events at the wat, finds the chow excellent and the people warm and welcoming: "Where else can you find homemade Thai food like this?" Keep in mind that the Royal Kathin gathering is chiefly a religious observance, not a mass feed. "Approach this event respectfully rather than as a food free-for-all," advises DaveCook, who's documented the festivities on his invaluable blog. And while the buffet is free, donations to the temple are welcome. Just pin your contribution onto the big dragon.
Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram [Elmhurst]
76-16 46th Avenue (near 76th Street), Elmhurst, Queens
Photo of Royal Kathin dessert plates by Dave Cook / Eating in Translation