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Looking for Thai in all the wrong places - Thai Grocery

Vital Information | Mar 31, 200312:21 PM

When Ms. VI and I honeymooned in Thailand, we made two related discoveries. There are not a lot of restaurants, but a hell of a lot of places to eat. Nearly every block contained various food stalls ranging from the simpliest satays to some nearly formal operations with tables. These places operated at all hours, and it was possible to eat at all hours. After our first initial struggles to find "real" restaurants, we gave up and ate nearly all our meals off the street.

So it should be no suprise that Thai Grocery has some really, really good food hidden away in the back of the store. They have food in two contraptions. In one, a host of fried things, good if you do not mind the stuff not fresh. Yesterday they had some of "grandma's recipe" fried spare ribs. In the other compartment, there is a steam table with a daily selection of Thai home cooking. Do try.

Yesteday, the table included about six choices. Really, nothing was what you'd get a Thai restaurant, even Spoon Thai. The choices included a watery pork with whole eggs, a twice fried catfish with heavily visible peppers, scary looking like at Lao Sze Chuan, but I am sure with real heat too; fish balls, miniature gefitile fish, in a green curry; a tangled mess of Asian spinach with pork belly, a vegetable curry with a yellow sauce, and another curry, called "southern"; a whole duck, head and all cramped and twisted into its stainless steel tray; and a pork dish seasoned with green peppercorn berries straight from a "new american" menu circa 1985. You could get the things by the pound, $6.50 or $7.50 depending on the ingredient or you could get a styrofoam tray with rice and 3 small scoops for $4.50, the real deal.

We took a bunch of things home including some papaya salad and green chili dip. For lunch I had my styrofoam deal, which had slightly muddled portions. Still, the flavors stood pround and spicy. If they say hot, it will be.

I could easily sample from their offerings daily.

The link below contains Thai Groceries particuliars as well as some names/locations of other Thai grocery stores. Maybe these places are where we should be doing our Thai eating.


Link: http://www.thaiassociationofillinois....

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