Food is sustenance and therefore necessity. Happily we have enjoyed dining out about one meal a day. It’s hard to food shop without waste and get the same result you can ordering food from a street vendor or in most restaurants here. This post is a recap on the cream of the crop of our latest dining locations. I expect to provide one more gastronomy related post before we leave Thailand. We have a friend from our hometown in the states coming to join us as we wrap up our Snowbird Escape 2018 over the next two weeks here in Chiang Mai rounded off with a few days at the end in Bangkok. I’m super excited to have her company in the mix!
O’Malley’s in the Anusarn Market area called our name one late night as we wandered in the cooler air of the evening. A traditional Irish Pub with Thai influence and a heavy sports, antique and golf theme is what we found with live soccer on the TV’s to feed our sports fix need. The beer lover in me was ecstatic to find some variety over and above the traditional Thai selections of Leo, Chang and Singha. For my taste bud pleasure, I went with a “green bottle” Pilsner of Carlsberg. We started our late night “snack” with teriyaki and Louisiana wings. They were served with a watery ranch style dressing. The spicy Cajun seasoning was quite tasty but the teriyaki was a bit lean on flavor. Staying conscientious about late night eating effects, I went semi light with a Caesar salad which slammed my tastebuds with anchovy. The base of the salad was lined with a crispy chip which provided this flavor. The romaine leaves were fresh and plentiful, the shaved Parmesan pungent, the croutons minimal and the salad also included sliced red onion. I was quite satisfied. Chicken Cordon Bleu was the selection for my partner. It was a generous portion served with hand cut fries nice and golden brown and fresh mixed greens with a spicy thousand island style dressing. In the background classic rock ballads played as well. This stop served as a nice round out to our leisurely day. Please accept my apology now as you will see our hunger many times wins over my memory to snap a photo before we dig in!
The Secret Learning Restaurant in the Old City. Worth mentioning is a bit of “synchronicity”, the book I was rereading for the third year in a row, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, kind of matched up with this dining selection that led to the appreciation of the abundance created by the companionship we found with our new friends. The proprietor was just rolling up the doors on this quaint corner location as we arrived. A man from France and his Thai wife who were rushing in from “a day at a conference” were friendly and warm as they welcomed us and another party and explained it would take them a bit to prep for the dinner rush. We settled in and ordered a round of Chang beers, large for the table. We were happy for the time to relax, chat and get to know each other better. The chef (male) also acted as the server with his wife and a younger family member acting as assistants. Soon they were set to go and working in rhythm with a full house (4 tables in this open kitchen space). It was a well oiled, efficient machine. We enjoyed caprese salad and bruschetta shared by the table for starters, the men ordered lasagna (rich and tasty with the addition of Béchamel sauce). My new female friend and I both ordered the Rich and Tasty, a house specialty with pesto tossed with spaghetti and topped with fresh diced tomato and served with a side of fresh Parmesan. Crusty baguette slices were served with fresh creamery butter. The food was super fresh and tasty although my tastebuds called for more garlic. Serenading us as we enjoyed house-made limoncello was a young Japanese artist playing the hand-pan. After, we made our way to our regular hang out where we had originally met to enjoy the last bit of time we would have together for a night cap at My Place on Loi Kroh Road. This was an enjoyable evening filled with laughter.
Just a short distance down the block of Chang Klan Road from our condo sits Lava. The space is clean both inside and out and we chose seats in, away from the noise of the street and enjoyed the cool of the air conditioning. We enjoyed wings, simply fried and pan fried pork filled potstickers and vegetable spring rolls. All of these were served with a traditional Thai sweet and spicy sauce. I chose a papaya salad and my honey had the Mixed vegetable salad. This salad was an extremely generous portion especially for the 80 baht price point. We will make a point to remember this spot when our bodies call out for a salad. The service was extremely attentive as well with good easy listening pop music playing in the background.
Dukes Ping River was on this list of recommendations. A couple times we had heard the raves about the ribs so one night we jumped in a tuk tuk after meandering through the markets and doing some people watching and headed to try it out. Dukes has the feel of a traditional wood and dim lighting American style steakhouse. We enjoyed a nice shrimp cocktail to start. Six plump house cooked shrimp hanging on the edge of a sundae glass filled with cocktail sauce and garnished with lettuce leaves. We also had wings. Haha. I am sure by now you have noticed that my honey is a connoisseur of this part of the bird! For our entree we ordered a Vegetarian pizza, rack of ribs and onion rings. Yes, we were starving. The food was good. The rib meat fell from the bone and were glazed to perfection. The onion rings were tasty with a heavy amount of cracked pepper in the batter and dried style they were prepared. Although satisfying we would not put this establishment at the top of our list. Neither the sweet sauce on the ribs and wings nor the pizza crust were the styles we would prefer.
Tee Muay Boat Noodle was a little shop we had noticed was only open during daylight hours immediately around the corner from the entrance to our condo. We were intrigued enough to go out for lunch one day and we ordered fried noodle with soft boiled egg salad, hell (as in spicy) morning glory and you guessed it, chicken wings! These wings were so tiny that we were both fairly certain they were quail. Darn tasty and the sauce was original and spicy good! I drank a red lemon soda cooling. Not exactly sure of its ingredients but it was sweet and refreshing, yum!
We ate from the carts parked on the south side of the old city one evening and found great selections and ridiculously low prices. We ate grilled corn on the cob, chicken wrap, crispy chicken skewers and veggie spring rolls for under $10. All were tasty and this is a great street food market to take in the hubbub of the city.
Da Antonio’s. Set back from the road with white clad tables and interesting decor this cafe did not disappoint and we ate heartily starting with a meats and cheese platter that was generous and delicious. Conversing with our server we found out that this restaurant was owned by the same gentleman as Giorgio’s where we had eaten earlier in our stay. You couldn’t tell it from the menu though as we saw no crossover. We moved on to the next course with a caprese salad and a vegetable soup that had incredibly rich flavor. Entrees included a New York Stip Loin Steak grilled to perfection with penne in a tomato and Parmesan sauce and spinach cannelloni that simply melted in my mouth. We splurged with desert of house made chocolate with pistachio and coconut ice cream, a port for my honey and amaretto for me. Ridiculously awesome dinner. This restaurant and this meal moved to the number one position for us and we would rate it as the 5 star choice for non Thai traditional fare here in Chiang Mai. The staff was excellent and we ended up having an opportunity to meet the owner who welcomed us heartily and treated us to cappuccinos.
Loong Chang Steak. At least that was the name in English that came up for me to sign in on the WiFi. (Many times words are lost in English to Thai translation.) This was a great menu, extensively seafood. We enjoyed a shrimp and mushroom dish and chicken spaghetti noodles dish with chili sauce and spring rolls which are my go to favorite that offers a little starch and good veggies as well as a good excuse for a little fried food. 😉 The dishes were tastefully prepared and presented. Although there were no English speakers here, the service was top notch. The environment was calming as we gazed out over the farmers making their way across the paths between the fields checking on their crops of rice and soybeans. The dishes of prawns, mussels, snails and oysters served around us made us tempted to get back out of town to enjoy something else here before we go.
Tawan’s Corner Bar and Grill last night. How disappointing/frustrating/aggravating for her especially after nearly 24 hours of travel time and five left to go! She did get some resolution with Expedia although it took some money to accomplish as well. I’m spending my Sunday finalizing this post and waiting anxiously for her arrival. Anyway, Tawan’s was a cozy teak wood garden style setting. We were the only customers and the food was prepared fresh by the proprietor, a friendly Thai woman who also served us. The menu had a British as well as Thai influence. We ordered a vegetarian pizza for our appetizer and my honey had a “chicken steak”, a grilled breast with gravy, fries and a salad, I had the Khao soi and a “jacket potato”, a tasty fresh crispy skinned baker (don’t think it was from Idaho;-) with fresh ground pepper, chives and melted cheese. Another hearty meal under $10.
Ploen Ruedee) but we tend to play it safe with our selections. For the record we have been good about our daily exercise. In reviewing, over 26 days we logged 125.9 miles for an average of 4.84 mi per day. Hopefully it’s enough to keep the extra pounds way! Soon I will share some of the adventures we’ve enjoyed during our time here. Watch for the next post! #cometravelwithme