Thursday, June 25, 2009
After some beach hopping this morning, we swung into town for gas, groceries and a little treat: lunch out at Ning's.
Ning's is one of two Thai restaurants in Pahoa, but we chose it due to a more positive review in one of our guidebooks, and recommendations from the owners of the house we're staying at. Although I can't speak to whether the experience at the other place would've been better, I can say our experience at Ning's was a good one, and I'm glad we made time to try it.
We both started our meals with some Thai Iced Tea. I normally ask for it without milk, but when I did our waitress asked if I'd prefer coconut milk, which I'd never had anyone suggest before. I suppose the high percent of vegetarians and vegans in the area probably result in accomodations and adaptations such as this one, so I can thank the Pahoa area vegans for a really delicious new discovery.
We both went with our favorite Thai dishes for lunch - Dan had Phad See Ew and I had Phad Thai. I love getting Phad Thai everywhere I go, as the variations in ingredients seem endless. This one featured a really nice tamarind sauce, with carrots cut like crinkle fries and zucchini and broccoli mixed in.
The spiciness scale at Ning's is a simple one: mild, medium, or hot. Dan had read that Ning's will bring the heat if you ask for it, so we both cautiously chose 'medium' for our dishes.
Medium turned out to be perfect for us - not so spicy that it overpowered our Western tastebuds, but hot enough to balance with the sour and sweet flavors of the dish.
Around dinner time, Dan turned on the Travel Channel, which was showing one food countdown show after another. Something I learned about Dan long ago is his love for countdown shows. I think he could watch a countdown of anything, but was glad these were food related.
As I was prepping dinner, the show 'Extreme Pigouts' came on, rounding up the most ridiculous, oversized items available on menus around the country. Things like 7 lb breakfast burritos and a 54 x 54 inch pizza. I think it had an impact on my meal prep, because I overdid it making nachos with homemade pineapple salsa and guacamole (both with fresh local tomatoes from Hamakua Springs Country Farm), beans, cheese, chips, and more leftover kalua pork. Thankfully, we didn't feel compelled to finish the entire plate, so there's now a big pile of nachos in the fridge alongside the giant container of pork.
(Dan's writing all about our trip over at our other blog, The Dans In Hawai`i, so I'll just stick to writing what I know: food.)