Saturday, January 17, 2009

Changing Weather and Belated Friday Food

I woke up this morning realizing something was different. It was darker than it should have been at 8am. As I lay there thinking, it dawned on me that this meant it was cloudy out. Hurrah!

I know that sounds wrong. But in January in Minnesota a bright clear day frequently also means a very cold day. On the other hand, as the frigid stuff pulls away, warmer air often causes clouds. 

Thus it was that with great glee that I jumped out of bed to greet the day. (Full disclosure? I jumped out of bed to greet the day at about 9:30. It is Saturday, after all.)

I am happy to report that it is a whopping 20 degrees ABOVE zero today at noon. That is a temperature swing of something like 42 degrees since yesterday at 8am. It's practically balmy! I plan to run errands, just for the sake of running them--even though it means I'm heading for shopping epicenters on the weekend. That's how warm it is.
But before I go out into the balmy breezes I owe you a quick note on Friday Food from yesterday... This week's topic: Thai food.

There are a number of really good Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities. I'm not sure why, there just are. Here are three of them that I know of (the reason why these are this week's Friday Food focus will become apparent. Don't worry.):

Christopher's and my favorite is Sawatdee (the location on Washington Ave in Minneapolis, to be specific)--not the best ambience, but great food and good (overall) atmosphere at decent prices. We've taken a lot of people there--and gone there a lot on our own--and haven't ever had a clunker off of the menu. It's become one of our staples when we want to go out. I'd give them an "A-" overall, and they only get the "-" because it can get kind of loud.

About 10 days ago, I went to dinner for a friend's birthday at Mango Thai in St. Paul. (You may remember this dinner from the posting entitled "The Kindness of... ummm... Strangers".) It's a small place, brightly lit and minimalistic. The food was good, but they stressed over and over that it is served family style with large portions--and although the food was okay, the portions weren't all that big. The price was good, though, and the staff was friendly (although they didn't do well with "exactitude" of our order). We had a very nice time, in spite of everything. "A" for effort. "C+" for overall. 

Last night (See? Friday Food!) I was out to dinner for another friend's birthday at King and I Thai in Minneapolis. It's a well-known Thai place, known for its style as well as its food. The prices are a little higher than other places, but I found out in the course of the evening that these family style portions really are big enough to share. The food was good, although some people complained of incongruous heat levels (things meant to be spicy weren't; and vice-versa). We were a large group, and our waitress was very charming, but mixed up a few orders, as well as taking loooooonnnnngggg pauses between trips to the table. Although it is slightly more elegant, I'd still vote for Sawatdee. King and I's ratings: "B+" for food. "C+" for service. "B" overall.


Laura said...

I believe the large number of good Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities (and other SE Asian restaurants and groceries) is because of the refugees there... Mung Hill people maybe? I forget their exact name, but suffice to say you guys have a very large SE Asian population that basically relocated in large numbers under the refugee program. (My sister used to live there and we are both obsessed with Thai food).

I felt the opposite during the cold snap--it was a tad warmer here, but still pretty frigid, but I much prefer the sun (and lack of wind). I was out running my dogs both days we had that cold because it was so gorgeously sunny. I am also thankful that it is keeping my ground frozen. I am expecting a mud pit later this week. That means hyper dogs.

Robert said...

Oh. I admit I prefer the sunny days, but the cloudy warmth is definitely appreciated after a string of frigid sunny ones!