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Naperville update - mostly Thai, events and musings - long

dickson d | Feb 14, 200408:04 AM

It is high school basketball season, so for the next month when I am not arranging chow events (shameless plug for Balkan movie and dinner outing on Feb 28, and Shaghai Feast on March 5 - email me for details), my dining will often follow the games.

I will start with a sports musing - skip to next pargraph if you are not interested. I attended a girl's bball game this past week at which my local high school retired the jerseys of 2 seniors. The first, a tennis player, who has won the state singles title all 4 years, unheard of. The second a basketball player who is possibly the best girls high school player ever, has her own column in the Trubune, etc. While the second is a more extraordinary athlete, compared to all others in the sport (being a gril, 6' 4" and skillful), I imagine the tennis player will make much more money if she is good enough to even spend a few years in the top 100. The injustice of economics. And then there is this other question - what exactly are they retiring when they retire a tennis player's jersey? The home team (ranked first in the state) clobbered the city visitors, Marshall, ranked 6. A satisfying event.

But I digress. We dined at Bangkok Village that evening, and I offered my normal challenge to the staff - make mine the way the cook would eat it. The gringo wait staff took this to the kitchen and returned saying the cook replied, "no way." Got to like their honesty. What ensued was a very nice and spicy meal. I started with Tom Kha, spicy, creamy, excellent. They also brought me lots of pepper flakes and paste so I could further dose my food, and I did add additional flakes to much of it. Next was Northern Larb (laab) rendered with chicken. Tangy, refreshing, good. Ended with shrimp in green curry. Also creamy, spicy, good depth of flavor. Unfortunately a little too similar in taste notes to my soup, which was my ordering error. I have had issues with Bangkok Village in the past, but C1 told me that one must take them in hand and demand a certain standard - absolutely correct and a great meal was my reward.

Lemongrass, my normal Thai choice, is closed, temporarily it seems. Series of notices on the doors, including the city saying it is unfit for occupancy, and the restaurant saying there has been damage to the kitchen which is being repaired. That's all I know.

Finally, we have a new Indian place in town, Swagat, I believe. It is on Ogden in the old Yen Ching space across from the Shredded Wheat Plant (or whatever General Mills makes there). Have not tried it yet, but will shortly. Cuisine of India is doing just fine at the other end of Ogden, based on a recent visit. And Gemato's, the barbecue and fast food joint at the front of the mall where Swagat lives is continuing to serve great greek potatos and pleasant meats including bbq pork, greek and bbq chicken, and shish kabobs, as well as normal fast food offerings. Great deal for a good meal. There is some construction on the north side, but the place is still open. Not sure what they are doing.

Now I just need to explore Old Peking next week to put that Tribune article to bed.


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