that I need to learn more about Thai food, since the highest rated Asian restaurant in our ultimate destination of Lafayette, LA, serves Thai food. So, to educate ourselves, we made a stop at Thai Tara at the Grove Arcade for lunch while in Asheville.
Thai Tara has a specific lunch menu and all dishes can be ordered with vegetables and tofu, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or seafood combination. And all dishes are served with soup and a vegetable spring roll.
Chuck ordered the Pad Med Mamaung with shrimp (short for Med Mamuang Himaphan), which is “One of the more popular dishes on the menu in Thai restaurants in America but also Thailand…. The finest cashews in the world are grown in Thailand, mainly on the island of Phuket. Mamuang himaphan means cashew nut, but there is an interesting translation. Himaphan's original meaning refers to the Garden of Eden, and the cashew nut looks like a small mango. The resulting pun can mean ‘mango of paradise,’ suggesting culinary heaven…” (importfood.com).
I selected the Khee Mao (spicy basil noodles) which is also known as Drunken Noodles. “Several theories exist on the naming of this dish. One states that it is because of the use of rice wine in preparing this dish, but no alcohol is added in any of the original Thai recipes. Another states that it was devised by someone who came home drunk but still wanted something to eat that could be made easily with whatever ingredients were available. Or someone finds remainders in the fridge to cook a side dish for their alcohol drinking. As such it should actually be renamed ‘drunkard's noodles.’ Yet another theory states that this dish is so spicy that one needs to drink beer to temper the heat” (wikipedia.org). Whatever you call it, it was made with shrimp, wide rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, onions, hot pepper, and basil leaves. And when asked how spicy I would like it, I answered “medium.”
I left not knowing anything more about Thai food than when I started. Maybe it’s me, but I just can’t warm up to Thai food (And yes, that pun was intended.) and can’t give Thai Tara more than 2.5 Addies.
To review the role of Adler and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.