When I was 21, a very lucky and spoiled little girl, I spent 3 weeks on a beach in Thailand with the most exciting man I had met thus far in my life. My mind is a little hazy on the subject, the idyllic part of a relationship that did not end well, but something I do remember is that some parts of the menus in all the restaurants we went into were translated into English, and some parts were not. Too spicy for anyone who couldn’t read it, we were told. My traveling companion, a young man wanting to play with extremes, was constantly incensed. Over and over he tried to convince waiters to bring him something they thought he couldn’t handle, just to try, and over and over again he was refused. Me, I was already sweating over what they would let us have. I trusted the wisdom of these places that, if nothing else, understood the average tourist’s palate.
Besides shameless bragging, I guess there are two points to telling this story. One is to say that I am not without bias on the subject of Thailand, Thai food, or Thai anything. The other is to show that my taste for/ability to deal with spice is in the average range. And all that is just to tell you that my brother took me to a Thai restaurant the other day, Thai Pepper it’s called, that I found endlessly pleasing. I had a pork salad with mint. Not super easy to eat, for me with my average spice capabilities, but very rewarding. It was a fun little adventure for my mouth, without any sense that my strength or will were being tested. All the flavors, like mint, onion, and lime, got to stand tall and proud, instead of getting dwarfed by the chili. Together with the swirly nostalgia of being someplace that kind of really looked and smelled like Thailand, I was a very happy girl. Perhaps this is a bit too personal and specific to be a very good recommendation, but, anyway, it’s a rave review!