Friday, August 26, 2022

Eating Around the World - 2022 "Challenge" [August - Thai]

I came up with a fun "challenge" for the hubby and I to tackle in 2022. You see, we try and limit our eating out to once a week (because I'm frugal like that ;)). With that said, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true favorites (you gotta make the most of those dining-out experiences, right?!). Well, that means we usually eat at the same two restaurants. Hear me out, I am NOT complaining, but I thought it might be a fun "challenge" for the year to try a new place once a month. To take the idea one step further, I thought we could try a different cuisine every month - that way we aren't just trying a new Mexican restaurant every month (because, let's be real, I can never turn down great chips and salsa ;)). Here's how it went:

[Originally this was going to be a single post, but blog readers said they preferred monthly, so ask and you shall receive.] 

January - Indian

February - Korean

March - Pizza

May - Mexican

June - Sandwiches

July - Breakfast

August - Thai

I will be very upfront and say that Thai is a food I normally stay away from. I do not like the flavor (or even the smell) of curry spices and peanut sauces are not my jam. With that said, I was willing to give it a shot and hoped I could find some options that would please my (somewhat picky) palate. I took to Yelp, like normal, and came across a restaurant that had good reviews (and I actually remembered that some of our friends really like this place), so we thought we'd give it a go. The hubby's mom was in town for a visit so we thought, why not try out the new-to-us restaurant with a guest?!

We went on a Saturday night and arrived a little before 6pm. The restaurant was pretty empty and we were seated right away. We noticed there appeared to be a bar off to the left hand side of the restaurant, but we didn't poke our heads in (it looked like a lot of wine bottles decorating the wall)... maybe next time. The menu was pretty extensive (although I'd have to say about half of the pages were the drinks and alcohol they served) and I remembered reading in a few reviews that most of the items could be made vegetarian/ vegan (and even gluten-free if that is a requirement/ request you have). 


The hubby decided on the Yellow Curry. This was NOT surprising, because I feel like anywhere it is on the menu he will order it. He went with a 5 on the spice scale (they have you pick between 1 and 10). He really liked his meal and said he would definitely order it again (and might even branch out and try a different curry in the future, but I won't hold my breath ;)). The only bummer thing was that he had to wait for about 5 minutes for his rice (which came with his curry and he mixes in) to arrive at the table - so his mom and I had already started eating (at his request) by the time his food came.

The yellow curry had potatoes, carrots and onions. He normally adds the rice in to make it more of a stew consistency. 

As you can see, he didn't have any issues finishing his meal (I gave him half of my rice and he devoured it with his curry).

Curry doesn't stand a chance around this guy.

I went with the Stir-Fried Broccoli and Mock Duck (oh yeah, I should have noted that Mock Duck was also the protein the hubby selected too). It usually comes in an oyster sauce, but I asked if I could make it vegan and they cooked it with a soy sauce instead. I went with a 3 on the spice scale and would say it wasn't spicy at all (but, then again, I wouldn't have expected it to be). I do have to say the flavoring was pretty bland. I totally understand that I messed with how they normally prepare it by asking for it without the oyster sauce, but it still seemed like it could have used a little more flavor.

The "meat" and veggies were well cooked and yummy, I just wish the sauce was a little more flavorful.

My mother-in-law ordered the Pad Thai (with sauteed veggies). Although she liked it, she said it wasn't what she was used to with Pad Thai. This had a sweet and sour sauce on it, rather than a peanut sauce (although there were chopped peanuts sprinkled on it). Again, she enjoyed it, but it was just different than what she was expecting. (PS The hubby helped her eat some of it {and she brought more home as leftovers}, since the portions were HUGE.)

She said she felt like she kept eating but the plate never got emptier.

We did have an issue with the bill at the end. (The hubby's mom mentioned that prices in California were a lot higher than in Michigan, to which I commented that $17/person didn't seem that outrageous to me. She said that the bill was about $80, so it was closer to $25 a person. We looked at the receipt and we had been rung up for another table's bill {it appeared as though they had a few glasses of wine along with their dinner, which is why it was pricier than ours}.) The wait staff was able to take care of the oversight, but it seemed to take about 10 minutes longer than we expected for it to be corrected. I wouldn't say this is something that would cause us to not return in the future, but just something to be cognisant of when going to pay your bill (especially since there were maybe only 4 other tables full when we were there). 


I'd say overall we all enjoyed the food, but might make a few tweaks on future visits. Hubby might go up a notch in the spice factor or try something different, I might try something different or maybe have garlic and mushrooms or something else added to what I had this time - only time will tell. (The hubby's just stoked that there's a possibility I'm willing to eat thai, since it's normally a cuisine he has to go to with friends or when he's out of town since it's usually not my jam.)

When was the last time you tried a new-to-you restaurant?

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