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The Great Pad Thai Search

Once upon a time, I worked at a company that was just down the street from Sukhothai, a place which served Pad Thai of epic deliciousness.

This pad thai had the perfect level of sauce (not a lot), paid proper tribute to peanuts, and had a complex flavour that had half of our company going there at least once a week. I probably averaged three. And even when I no longer worked nearby, I regularly made the 20 minute drive from my new workplace to get takeout. That’s how good it was.

Then, about a year and a half ago, they changed the recipe.

You can’t possibly know how difficult the grieving process has been! First, I can still taste this Pad Thai when I think about it – and each time, I have to remember that I can never have it again.

Second, there are many great things to say about Ottawa, but Pad Thai here is generally a disaster. You can safely order a delicious rice-based dish in most Thai places, but for Pad Thai, ketchupy and nauseating is the norm.

So, after several disastrous experiences, I had a minor panic attack before ordering Pad Thai last night at Royal Thai in the Market. What if I couldn’t eat it? How would I make it through my swing dance class without collapsing in a hungry heap on the floor?

But I manned up and took the risk.

Pictured, via phone camera, are my friend’s Pad Thai (Shrimp)…

…and mine (Chicken).

Both of us ordered “2 stars” on the spice scale, which is Very Hot.

The verdict?

It was delicious. While it’s not quite up to the standards of our old favourite, it’s definitely the best we’ve tried so far.

I actually ate the whole plate.

The empty plate is not pictured, but would you like to look at my pad thai one more time?

… I feel better now.

Have you ever had your heart broken by a disastrous recipe, chef, or menu change?

November 2, 2010   8 Comments

Sushi Kan

Good morning, my beautiful people!

Yesterday was an uncharacteristically warm day in Ottawa (all you needed was a light jacket), and I took advantage of this to go play with my camera at lunchtime. I am learning to use the manual settings.

I took a picture of the Terry Fox statue for inspiration – I am going to run at lunch today for the first time in a couple of months.

And then spent most of my lunch hour trying in vain to capture a runner beside this fountain. Alas, they all sped by me while I was adjusting my aperture.

But I had to save my real energies for the eating marathon that lay ahead:

Sushi Kan

I love sushi.

And up until recently, I went only to regular sushi restaurants to get my fix. However, after an extensive analysis of my credit card statements, I have concluded that I perhaps may not want to be eating a la carte sashimi on a California Roll budget.

This is where Sushi Kan comes in: it’s All-You-Can-Eat. It includes sashimi. It’s surprisingly tasty. And it (the Innes Road location) comes recommended by many people who have eaten there before me.

AYCE rule # 1: Let Others Test Before You Enjoy

I am not much of a risk taker (there is that Soviet upbringing again). But many lesser stomachs have successfully eaten here before me, so last night, two friends and I dug in.

Just look at all those Omega-3’s !!!

Omega-3 fats help reduce the inflammation that is caused by consuming processed foods (see yesterday’s nacho post for an example of “Foods, Processed”).

And we ate baked fuji rolls. I am not exactly sure what is in them, but they are baked and warm and delicious.

My friends ordered this hilarious looking shrimp thing. I had to take a picture of it, even though I am not an enjoyer of shrimp myself.

Of course, it was not all sashimi and baked mystery rolls. I got a few pieces of sushi as well – sashimi is all well and good, but there is something to be said for rice.

AYCE Rule # 2: Do Not Shun Rice Just Because You Can

When you put a piece of sushi with rice in its soy sauce bath, the rice absorbs the salty goodness, creating an entirely new cacophony of flavours.

Which you can then enjoy while the waitress asks you if you want to order something for Last Call.

Seriously, what kind of question is that?

Have you ever tried an all-you-can-eat sushi place? Or are you one of those people who just wouldn’t?

October 27, 2010   14 Comments

Nacho Reunion

So I promised several people a healthy recipe today.

I was going to post about my usual lunch salad which is super filling and nutritious and takes all of 2 minutes to make.

Yes, I wanted to talk about the salad. All those vitamins and minerals are too wonderful not to celebrate.

But I slept in this morning so instead we are going to celebrate these nachos. Because the photos are already on my phone and really, they need to be talked about.

These nachos are from the Cock & Lion in downtown Ottawa, an underground pub I used to frequent when I was a student. I had a co-op job half a block away, and we (the students) held meetings there. Meetings over nachos and zucchini sticks and especially hot wings. We went there for meetings and happy hour too.

Back then, they had a hot wing flavour just for me. It was my special mix of Hot sauce and Suicide. I don’t remember what it was called. If I remember, I’ll write about it.

Anyway, these are not the best nachos ever, but they are very good. Just look at that bite.

Yes, I ordered the Large. In my defence, I do stop eating as soon as I run out of cheese.

Dearest Cock & Lion Nachos,

Let’s not wait 5 years before we meet next, okay?

(Bonus points to anyone who can spot the strange and funny aspect in the first photo).

Now excuse me while I go make that salad.

October 26, 2010   5 Comments

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