Thai One On


This restaurant has been on my list since the beginning of the blog but I could never catch it when open when I was in the mood for Thai.  This time though it was an unplanned visit as I noticed it was open when I was on my way to run another errand so I hit the brakes hard and swung into the parking lot (much to the annoyance of the twerp who had been following too close in spite of having a free lane to the left, so bonus).

The restaurant in question is Sila Thai.  I’d seen good reviews for the place on Yelp & Google and it was only a couple of miles from the house so I had great hopes for my lunch and those hopes were met.  First impressions.  The place shares a building with a Chinese restaurant, they are essentially back to back so it made me wonder if they shared a kitchen and my hopes were going to be dashed for authentic Thai.  Upon entering it looks like a lot of other Asian restaurants with some decorations clearly from Thailand.  They do have a bar to the left of the main seating area that is also the counter where you pay on the way out.  I was greeted and seated quickly by a pleasant lady who welcomed me to the restaurant.  There weren’t many people there when I arrived but there were a lot when I left.

They have a nice lunch menu with a two price plan, $8 for chicken or tofu and $9 for beef or pork and then 3 pages of dishes to which you can add one of those.  The list varies from Sauteed dishes to fried rices, curries and noodles.  Plus you got a soup or salad and vegetable dumpling.  I chose the egg drop soup.

This egg drop soup was different than any I’d had before.  Upon first slurp I noticed it had a significant sesame oil component, which I quite liked.  Next was the vegetables which were swimming around in there, carrots, peas, corn & tofu, not a lot of any of them but enough add some color and additional textures.  Enjoyable start.  For my entree I’d chosen the Pad Woon Sen from the Noodle section of the menu since it was something I had never tried before.

I would definitely recommend this dish.  This was a significant plate of food.  The base was clear glass noodles and it also had cabbage, cauliflower, red & green peppers, onions, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini, sprouts, eggs, and chicken with a brown sauce.  Wow, there were a lot of different textures to go along with the noodles and there was not a lot of any one thing but enough to get a taste of each.  The chicken was grilled and that brown sauce was like a smokey, slightly sweet soy sauce that I found delicious.  Oh yeah and there was a vegetable dumpling that wasn’t bad but it was a vegetable dumpling so I had low expectations anyway.

A couple more general notes.  The staff was all very friendly.  They have spicy dishes and like many Thai restaurants I’ve been too they let you specify the spiciness on a 1-5 scale so you can try those dishes without being afraid of frying your taste buds.  The food was delivered fast and hot, I hadn’t finished the egg drop soup before the pad woon sen was delivered so this is a reasonable option for people trying to grab lunch on a lunch break from work.  They had some deserts that I was thinking about trying but there was so much food in the main meal I just didn’t have the room.

Overall I’d say I’m sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to try them sooner and I will definitely be going back for some non-blog lunches.  If you didn’t check out the Tell Me More page last time Thailand was the subject check it out now.


UK Yums

United Kingdom

This month’s Yum box was loaded with snacks from across the pond and specifically the UK.  Just to get rid of any confusion the little booklet pointed out early on that while many people equate the UK with Great Britain they aren’t exactly the same.  Great Britain is England, Scotland & Wales and the UK is Great Britain plus Northern Ireland.  Now that we have that out of the way here are shots of the box opening.

The box leaned more towards the sweet side than savory side of the snack spectrum.  There were 3 bags of different flavored crisps and 3 different kinds of cookies or biscuits plus a couple of toffees and other chewy treats.  As has been the custom I’ll go over my favourite 2 along with the most unusual and least favorite and this week an honorable mention in the unusual category.

Both the favourites appealed to my sweet tooth.  The first was the Wagon Wheels.

These Wagon Wheels Jammie snacks beg for a comparison to moon pie’s based on first look as it was two cookies sandwiching marshmallow and covered in chocolate.  Covered in medium quality milk chocolate with a low melting point that didn’t taste bad but you could count on a little mess. The cookies were thinner than a moon pie and crisper as well as sweeter. The marshmallow cream was smoother and not chewy like a moon pie’s.  The biggest differentiator was the little dab of jam that added a great taste.  It was for sure sweeter than I was expecting but very good.  Also the packaging is complete with that icon of UKness, the Conestoga wagon.

The second place favourite (actually third but the real second was the most unusual) was the Toffypops.

These were a tad melty when they came in off the August in the South front porch so I threw them in the freezer and as a result they were not as pretty as if they’d come straight from the grocer’s shelf.  In spite of their unsightliness they were tasty.  Toffypops are tea biscuits with toffee in a well at the center of the biscuit and topped with chocolate. The cookie was plain with little flavor of it’s own which made the taste of the chocolate and toffee stand out all the more. The chocolate was ok but the toffee was quite good and the combo went well together.  I didn’t have mine with tea but I could certainly imagine it going well with a strong black tea.

My least favourite item was from the bag of candies.

The yellowish green one was called a chocolate lime candy.  These little nuggets are hard candies that have an artificial lime flavor typical of the genre and have a center of equally artificial chocolate flavor.  The combination did nothing for me and the whole thing just tasted so artificial it was off putting (that sounds better than nasty right?).

The most unusual category I have what was also my true second favorite as well as an honorable mention.

Johnny’s Pickled Onion Rings were a surprising snack that made me go Wow!  The vinegar and onion taste are no joke on these little bad boys. They are fairly uniform corn based rings and even as I was taking that first bite I smelled the vinegar.  I could feel the glands in my neck react and the pucker factor was serious business when they hit the tongue.  The vinegar is definitely the first impression but then the onion flavor gets to come out and play and the overall snack was a hit with me.  I could see bowls of these sitting on a bar doing the job of getting people to order an extra pint or two.

The honorable mention goes to one of the bags of crisps.

I can’t think of a more fitting company to make haggis and cracked pepper crisps than Mackie’s of Scotland.  I have to be honest and say I approached these with some trepidation but also it was the first snack I tried.  I had no idea what I was going to get because I’ve never had real haggis but I’ve read descriptions and never thought I had to book a flight and get me some.  Turns out it was a nice crisp.  The seasonings gave it a salty, smokey taste, then you got the potato flavor.  The cracked pepper was not to be left out and built up the heat a little as more of the chips were consumed.  One thing about all the crisps, they were thicker than a standard US chip but more delicate than a kettle cooked style.  Also the various flavor profiles were more subtle than what you’d get in a US chip and you could get a better taste of the potato.

The other items in the box were good and while I won’t detail them all I’ll mention what they were; Creamy Dreamy Toffee, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar Crisps, Mature Cheddar & Onion Crisps, Chocolate Chip Shortbread biscuits, Rhubarb & Custard Chews, Walker’s Treacle Toffee, Prosecco Fudge, Kir Royale Black Currant & Champagne Chews.

Overall an interesting and enjoyable box with some items I liked more than I thought I would and some that were a bit disappointing but not bad, except the lime chocolates.  Those were not pleasing.

Based on the clues I think next month will be Thailand but I’m not sure.


Another Friday at the Fountain

FTF August 2018

I love all the Fridays but Food Truck Friday is my favorite and this last one did nothing to change that.  This month’s had a Toto cover band, Bless the Rains and on the way over I heard Hold the Line and when I got out of the car I could hear them playing Hold the Line and they sounded good which was a promising start to the evening.

My plan was to get something from one of the trucks selling tacos after grabbing my starter adult beverage.  That starter was a Blossom Eater hard cider from Blake’s.  It had a nice apple taste but was really sweet and had a faint hint of something else I couldn’t identify. After looking it up it turns out there is jasmine and bergamot in it.  The jasmine was the taste I couldn’t identify and I didn’t get any hint of the bergamot.

With cider in hand I strolled the streets in search of the right truck.  That sounds like the start of a Criminal Minds episode.  Anyway after an exhaustive examination of all the menus of the taco selling trucks I went back to the first one I checked out, Taco Green-Go. This truck has been around for a while and I never really paid them much attention before, my loss.

I like their menu board and the way you can combine the elements to have 60 different combinations in three steps.  I went with the special protein which was the carnitas slow roasted pork and instead of the tacos like I was originally planning on I decided to go with the incred-a-bowl base.  The bowl included jasmine rice and seasoned black beans.  Finally for the last step I chose the Island style which added mango salsa, pepper jack cheese, cilantro & pineapple guava aioli.  I felt like that was a good choice when the young woman taking the order just nodded her head and said “Yeah” enthusiastically.

This really was a great meal.  It doesn’t look like a lot of food but it was piled up nicely in the paper bowl and between the beans and rice was very filling.  The flavors all went together in a pleasing way and no one flavor overpowered the others.  There was enough of everything to get some of the taste like with the mango salsa but never too much of anything like cilantro which can drown out other flavors.  The aioli provided a creamy component that just melded the entire thing together.  I will say I didn’t taste the pineapple but there were enough other flavors to go around.

After enjoying the meal I grabbed a beer to enjoy while I finished listening to the first set of the band.  They had a beer so weird I had to try it.  Funky Buddha Key Lime Pie Tart was that ale and it was in fact weird.  On first sip the key lime taste was very evident then it faded to what almost tasted like a hint of graham cracker crust but then that was overtaken by an odd finish that I’m not even sure how to describe except it was kind of chemical and flat.  So every sip was a taste roller coaster, whee followed by ohhh yeah.  On the plus side the music was good and my views to the left and right were pleasant as I worked through the tart.

I was going to hit one of the dessert trucks but the universe was watching out for me and decided the overweight buy with diabetes didn’t need more sweets and pile up the lines at any of the trucks I was interested in.  That was for the best so despite a minor disappointment it was another fine food truck Friday.



Taiwanese Yum


Image result for taiwan passport stamp

This months Yum box was loaded with snacks from the island of Taiwan.

There were 13 different snacks in this month’s box.  Most I enjoyed and one not so much and it will be discussed in a bit.  Staying with the plan to showcase the top 2 favorites, the most unusual and the worst here’s my favorite of the box.

Basil flavored pea crackers.  That’s right, you read me, crackers made from peas.  I was skeptical when I opened the pack but was converted on the first bite of these spiral shaped crackers.  The first thing I noticed was these crackers had an awesome crunch.  It was harder than most corn or wheat based crackers I’ve had in the past and I liked it.  The next thing was the basil flavor, which was by far the dominant flavor and it tasted fresh, not artificial.  This was also the largest snack by volume too so double win.  The second favorite snack was a little smokey plum hard candy.

The smokey plum is on the right.  The other two candies were chewy but this little number was hard as your grandma’s Christmas candy.  I popped this in my mouth and man did it have the smokey part down pat.  There was a wood smoke flavor that I’m sure a true smoke connoisseur could have identified but to me it was like inhaling over a random camp fire, in a good way.  After a bit the smoke dissipated and the sugary plum flavor started to come through and shortly after that because I have the patience of a gnat I chewed it up so I don’t know if the flavor would have changed again as it dissolved.  Now on to what I thought was the most unusual.

Here we have the Taiwanese Choco Ball which I expected to be my favorite out of box based on the picture and ingredients.  I mean chocolate and peanut butter?  We’re in Reese’s territory here and I love that combo.  Well things didn’t turn out quite like I thought.  The thin chocolate exterior was not bad even though the chocolate wasn’t as sweet as I’m used to and wasn’t bitter enough to be cool like dark chocolate.  Then I got to the mochi which had a consistency between a gummy worm and that green slime you played with as a kid.  Not a lot of taste but it certainly contributed to an interesting mouth feel.  Now I’m down to the peanut buttery layer and it was also not as sweet as the peanut butter I’m used to and certainly not as sweet as that used in confections.  That’s not a bad thing but it didn’t meet expectations so there was an initial let down.  The interesting part was, taken individually the components were kind of disappointing but if you chunked a whole one in your mouth and didn’t spend too much time chewing it over the flavors went pretty well together, unlike the next snack.

Here we have the taro flavored wafer bar.  It was the only snack I disliked outright.  The wafer is a standard plain cardboard like example of it’s genre.  It was crispy and fragile with a thin layer of semisweet taro paste sandwiched in.  If you’ve never had taro it’s the same stuff they make poi from and if you’ve never had poi it’s like kindergarten paste without the great flavor.  You may have discerned I’m not a taro fan and this was even worse because as thin as the layer of filling was it still managed to leave a greasy taste in my mouth.  So no, just no to the taro wafer.

Although I’m not going to talk about them I will mention the other snacks in the box.

Black sesame cake, brown sugar lotus cake, pepper crackers, french fry snacks, seaweed corn bar, spicy scallion stick, red bean milk candy, black sesame milk candy and bubble tea popcorn.

I do want to give the bubble tea popcorn an honorable mention even though I don’t have a picture to share.  The popcorn still had a freshness to it and the sweet glaze had the taste of green tea and tapioca plus there were bits of black tea leaves on the popcorn as well.  The tea leaves weren’t enough to overpower the bubble tea flavor but did enhance the tea part.

OK and since I’ve never found a restaurant that claimed to be Taiwanese I’m adding the Tell Me More page for Taiwan to this post.  Check it out for a recipe video, music video, random fact and some shopping opportunities.

Based on the clues it looks like next month’s Yum box will be loaded with English treats.  Fingers crossed for some bangers & mash crisps.