Monday, December 7, 2009

Bangkok Market Value Meal!

Guest post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

Much has been written about the delicious food that can be found at the Bangkok Market, but I am still in awe of this gem we have in Hawthorne. Like a lot of places, there is a $5 minimum if you want to use your credit/debit card. Since I rarely carry cash on me, I often have to wander the store just to find food expensive enough to get to that minimum.

Lately I've been eating various Laab dishes. Laab meat is prepared... grinding up beef, chicken, fish, duck, or other meats, and seasoned with lime, peppers, cilantro, and other Thai or Laotian ingredients. (A word to the wise: those serrano peppers are NOT for the faint of heart. You better have a high tolerance for spiciness if you mix those in with your dish.) I'm not sure what parts of the cow or bird get used in the "grinding up" process, but hey, it can't be much worse than lunch meat, right?

I've been trying different Laab dishes, and I think I like the duck the best. I'm reminded of a story I've told before, but I've searched the blog and can't find it anywhere. Back when we had to deal with rampant (but now non-existent) crime in the EcoVillage, John and I would stop at the Bangkok Market, grab a bite, and eat while watching the Sentry, the Devil, and other characters at 3020 6th St N.

Well, we were telling the owner about this blog, and how we like to promote neighborhood businesses. We weren't trying to scam any free food, but some businesses do offer freebies when we pitch this line. The owner didn't seem overly impressed. But then I explained what we were going to do while eating, and finished with the line, "Your food sustains us while we go out and make the neighborhood safer."

THAT got his attention. He immediately went and got us a batch of sticky rice, and explained how to use it to scoop up the laab meat. The technique looked rather similar to how tortillas are used in Central America, although I still haven't perfected using the rice that way. But the behavior of the owner was notable: promoting his own business was secondary to making his neighborhood safe. I remember that every time I get a meal from here.

And the best part is the price, which I intentionally left visible in the photos above. This meal cost $7.00 and there's enough to keep you full for both lunch and supper. That's roughly what you'd pay to fill up on fast food "value meals" in our neighborhood, only this is MUCH better for you.

Delicious, healthy, and cheap food can be found at Hawthorne's Bangkok Market!


Ranty said...

That reminds me - I keep meaning to go to the Amazing Oriental market (and restaurant... and live bait!) on Broadway... maybe we should go together for lunch sometime and you can blog it.

I'm still digging the apple tree in the parking lot.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Ranty: I'd love to. I was in there just the other day, picking up some guava candies for the "sign pinata" video and the smell of their food was AMAZING. Plus, like the Bangkok Market, they had all sorts of interesting stuff for sale.

There was even a section in their freezer with exotic fish and a sign that said, "NOT FOR SALE." John and I both agreed: "That makes me want to try it EVEN MORE."

Sarah Maske said...

What does Hello, Boss beverage taste like?

Matt said...

Does that can say "Hello Boss"? What kind of tasty beverage did you get with this meal?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Hello Boss is my favorite brand of iced coffee (although it also tastes delicious warmed up). I bought it as a lark once, just because it's such a great name for anything caffeinated. (it costs about $1)

Which brings me to another story. Gather 'round, kiddies. They ran out and didn't order any more for a few months. So I talked to the owner and promised him that if he put in another order of this stuff just for me, I would be sure to buy it on a regular basis. It's been consistently in stock ever since.

Isn't this place awesome?!

Low End Leroy said...

Bankok Market
31st and Lyndale - Right?
Laab=Good. I need to check this out. Thanks for posting.

Johnny Northside said...

Ah, good ol' "Hello Boss." It takes like iced coffee, no more and no less.

The really fun part is theorizing about why it's called "Hello Boss."

Is it because you're at work so early that you greet your boss (in a very subservient way) and show him that you are there early, pitching in, already caffeinated?

Or is it more subversive? Does the beverage make it possible for you to get there EARLIER than your boss, so the boss walks in and you say hello. But who is kidding who? You're angling for his job.

Or does the boss refer to the beverage ITSELF? You take a sip and it's so strong, so flavorful, that you cry, "HELLO, BOSS!"

Yeah, um, iced coffee. Nothing unusual. But the can is kinda cool with that unique name.