Eating Like a Local in Bangkok

Where did I leave off last time? Oh yes, I was going out to get something to eat.DSCN0053And eat I have, often. I’ve been back to Fuli, one of my favorites for dumplings and cabbage with minced garlic. (Note — unlike most bloggers I don’t take many photos of food. When food is placed in front of me my first instinct is to eat. When I finally remember to take photos, its usually too late)  I also found another Chinese restaurant nearby called Asian Noodle where I had a noodle dish with peanuts and other stuff I neglected to note plus a plate of crisp, fried black sticky rice with coconut creme, At Oscar, a student favorite decorated with Academy Award posters (hence the name) I had a plate of Thai noodles — fresh, soft rice noodles with egg and veggies. And for lunch yesterday, my student Thip took me to a local restaurant that specializes in Chinese style goose.

DSCN0067I’ve also been to the nearby night market several times for dinner on the stroll. The market sets up in a huge parking lot near the soccer stadium every afternoon at 4 (unless there is a match and the lot is needed for parking). The market, which includes tsotchkes (not a Thai word) as well as food, sprawls maze-like over the parking lot.

I usually walk down one row until it ends at a booth. The food row continues on the other side of the booth, but the only way to get there is to wander up and down rows crammed with people until I somehow find my way to the other side and am able to continue my gustatory perambulations.

DSCN0048 DSCN0049I typically get a couple of grilled Thai sausages (excellent — very juicy with a slight sour taste that adds a note of complexity), large fluffy shu mai-like dumplings sprinkled with dried garlic and a soy based dipping sauce, and skewers of grilled chicken. There are lots of other stuff that look tempting, but for health reasons, I am inclined to stick with the stuff that is steamed or grilled. Maybe I’ll take a chance in a few days.

Once I get my food, I wander on to the grassy area next to the artiificial lake and sit on a flat rock or the grass while I try to eat without dumping everything in my lap. The vendors serve most of the food in plastic bags with a sharp stick or a teeny plastic fork or spoon. And, no napkins. In fact, its a challenge finding decent napkins in any restaurant in Thailand. I guess that Thai people don’t make any where near the mess when they eat that large, ungainly farang do.

When I’m finished I pick up a couple of bags of ripe, freshly cut watermelon and pineapple to bring back to my room for desert and for breakfast the next morning.

There are also some tempting looking restaurants and food stalls a few blocks away, including one that specializes in the salt coated grilled fish that is ubiquitous in local seafood restaurants but I have yet to find in Los Angeles, even in Thai Town. I’ll check them out soon.

DSCN0038 DSCN0040The only thing I miss, besides decent napkins, is a cold IPA. Most of the restaurants I have been to don’t serve beer and you can’t get one at the night market either. So I pick up a four pack of Singha every couple of days or so and have one in my room before I go out and/or after I get back.

I do other things besides work and eat. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post. Right now, I’m heading to the gym to work off some of the calories from yesterday’s binge at the night market.



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