Dish 34: Pad Thai at Chabaa Thai, 4371 Main St. in Manayunk, http://www.chabaathai.com
Tonight, Colleen and I had dinner with Main Line Mama, whose moniker could not be more deceptive. We talked nonstop about school, travel, Penn State, men, friendships, moving on, fashion, and the quality of teachers at VSB (overall, fantastic, with the rare dud). As aspiring ML mamas ourselves, Colleen and I were intrigued by her career that jumped from London to Germany back to Philadelphia, made time for a trip to Thailand, and included a wonderful husband and three super cute little ones. (Pictures from the Outer Banks: awwwww.) And all while staying fabulous.
Main Line Mama is a reader of the blog who replied to a post and suggested we go out. After she successively passed the Test of Non-Sketchiness, we set a time and a date. And we had a blast; I am impressed with a woman isn’t afraid to put herself out there; to attend a beer and food matching event by herself, or drive into the city to hear Elizabeth Gilbert speak on her book, Eat Pray Love. Or hang out with two college girls in Manayunk. It’s really cool. She’s very cool.
We picked the crepe pad thai, and ML Mama suggested the spring rolls and green curry from her experiences abroad; she described trekking through the mountains of Thailand with a guide who would carry some vegetables as they traveled from village to village. The guide would disappear with several villagers, who would provide rice, and emerge minutes later with dishes like pad thai and curry. She also noted that the locals ate these foods for every meal, including breakfast. No Wheaties. No Cheerios. And no Pop Tarts.
The pad thai was a noodly pile with bean sprouts, shrimp, vegetables, and tofu wrapped up in an egg crepe and presented beautifully with serrated pieces of mango and a fuschia and white flower. I can’t describe the flavor accurately, but it was a standard stir-fry kind of creature. The spring rolls were light, crispy, with peppery cabbage innards that tasted fantastic with the duck sauce provided. And the green curry was awesome! It’s the color of mint ice cream, with a creamy coconut milk base, but its spicy, fresh, and cool tasting, in the cilantro and mint family, and has wiggly shaped pieces of chicken and goodies floating about.
In a truly unclassy fashion, I snuck several of Dad’s famous brownies into Chabaa Thai for dessert. As we finished and looked at each other, we knew the party was over, and none of us wanted to go home.