Not all Pad Thai is created equal. This I can say based on experience!
Pad Thai to me here in Thailand, is what coffee is like to most Seattleites – A staple that I have come to depend on. The flavors vary from a little too far on the sweet side, to quite spicy (which is rare). When I try a new place, I never can tell how good it’s going to be but I like surprises 🙂
I have been in Chiang Mai for 1 month now and in this time, Pad Thai has been my go to meal. It’s inexpensive, almost always delicious, and most importantly…safe. Traditionally, Pad Thai is not made to be spicy. This is why it’s typically a safe choice, especially when I’m not in the mood for spicy. When it comes to spice, I’m a wimp. I just can’t take the heat. On about half a dozen occasions, I have tried to order something that sounded delicious and harmless in the sense of spiciness, yet turned out to be laced with fire. I don’t get how something that sounds so docile like “garlic stir fried veggies and chicken” could turn out to be so spicy! You’d think I would have learned after about 3 times, right? Yea… NO. Thailand does not joke around with their spice… I am slowly adapting and conditioning my tongue.
If you find yourself in Thailand, I encourage you to try Pad Thai at the street carts. Some of the best Pad Thai I have had came from a cart.
Have you lived somewhere where you adopted a traditional dish as your “go to meal”? If so, what and where?