Thursday, November 8, 2007

Noodles, fried things, and coffee

Of all the mistakes I could have made this past weekend, the most appalling one was going to Chinatown on a full stomach. I didn't panic though. I partook in one of my favorite eating traditions. That is of course "second lunch."

I found myself on Charoen Krung 16 (Soi Itsara Nuphap), which is essentially a market in an alley. There's all kinds of meat, fish, fungi, and indistinguishable products. It's exciting, but certainly not if you are claustrophobic. I passed by "Hong Kong Noodle" and realized that it was time for second lunch.

I was greeted by hanging ducks, fresh noodles and dumplings, and a full house. Yes, this was the place.

I sat down, relayed my order, and watched people. They watched back.

A very nice bowl of Bami kiao bpet nam (Duck noodles with dumplings) arrived at my table.

I hadn't intended to order it with everything but I couldn't say no. I really was excited for the dumplings as they are almost always excellent in Chinatown. This was no exception. The dumplings each included a little pork and a small shrimp. Very fresh, very tasty. The duck was also very nice. I don't go seeking out duck, but I would definitely order it here again. I do seem to end up with this particular combination every time I come looking for Bami in Chinatown.

Another satisfied customer

I continued along the streets being tempted by new and unfamiliar snacks. It wasn't until I saw this snack did I stop:

This woman is making what looks like hoi tod in a pan usually used to cook kanom krok, or on occasion quail eggs. I asked her what it was, but I've already forgotten what she told me. Another few customers stopped by and asked what exactly it was she was selling. If I'm not misinformed, this is not a common snack. At least not 'round these parts.

Mussels, squid, savory batter, hot sauce, and lots of oil. Quite a caloric hit.

I waddled on down the street wondering how I was going to keep from getting sick when I stumbled upon Lae Sae, an old school coffee shop I read about from the always informative realthai. I had wanted to try this place out for a while, so I figured now was the perfect opportunity. I spent the next hour or so talking with a group of Thai Chinese (great?) grandfathers. Smoking, spitting, talking about everything and or nothing at all, and slow coffee and tea drinking are more or less perfected at this establishment. Everyone made me feel welcome, even if they told me that I in fact "look old" for my age. Whatever. I did appreciate their honesty.


Robyn said...

God Bless the second lunch!

Girlie said...

Second lunch is perhaps the best meal of the day... closely followed by latenight snack.

I love your pictures and commentary - I'm learning so much!

a said...

Yes, god bless the second lunch. I could have figured that you were a fan.

Thanks for that! But what about second breakfast, or maybe even second dinner? Latenight snack is good though...