Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thai In The Suburbs: Sawatdee Thai in Sherwood

The suburbs have always kind of turned me off. I like the diversity found in cities, the liberal thinking, the unique neighborhoods, and the independent businesses. Nonetheless, we moved last year, out of the city and into the land of strip malls and soccer moms.

Although there are certainly things I miss about Portland, I actually like it here a lot. And yes, it's exactly the stuff you'd expect: more house for the money, better schools, great parks, and peace & quiet. But in addition, there's a quaint little downtown with a handful of independent businesses, an outdoor Saturday market in the summertime, and a nice library. Overall, I'm really happy here and it was a great move for our family.

That said, one thing I do miss are the great restaurants of Portland. Of course, they're not out of reach; the city isn't that far away. But the selection of places that are nearby and handy that don't require at least a brief road trip is quickly getting boring. I've especially missed Thai food, which I love to eat, but am not very good at cooking. There is a Thai place here, but I've been pretty disappointed with their food. Even so, I've gone back on several occasions, trying something different each time in hopes of finding a dish they're really good at. It's certainly far from terrible, but the curries are unexciting, the pad Thai is a bit sad, and the stir-fries are over-seasoned. I gave up.

But then, my husband suggested we go there for lunch the other day, and I thought, why not? I'll give it one more chance. I picked something I hadn't yet tried, the tom yum noodle soup from the lunch specials menu, and finally, I was not disappointed. In fact, I loved, loved, loved it! I expected it to be similar to tom yum, the hot & sour soup I've had at many Thai restaurants. But it was really quite different not just because of the addition of rice noodles, but also ground chicken and crushed peanuts. I requested a spicy version and it was just the right amount of heat for me. Two days later, I was back for another bowl. I told myself it was to get a photo for the blog, but actually, I was just craving that soup! Maybe eventually, I'll try something else, and I'll let you know if I find another dish I like, but I'll be sticking with that delicious soup for awhile.

So here's the deal, if you ever find yourself down in Sherwood, and feel like Thai for lunch, it's the Tom Yum Noodle Soup at Sawatdee Thai Cuisine. Fantastic!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pizza Night

We made individual pizzas for dinner the other night. I have to admit, they were not homemade, but build-your-own pizzas. I went shopping with different intentions, but found I just wasn't motivated to put much effort into our dinner and went the convenience route instead: pre-made pizza crusts, pre-made marinara sauce (which I thickened with a little tomato paste), and even pre-shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I also got a few basic toppings that please my family: mushrooms, black olives, turkey pepperoni, and jalapeno slices.

I don't know how the other pizzas with their gluten-filled crusts tasted, but my pizza with its thin and crispy crust was pretty delicious. I used mushrooms and pepperoni, plus lots of oregano and some crushed red pepper flakes. Then, after baking, I topped it with a bunch of spring greens. I'm sure it was more than a single-serving's worth, but I ate the whole thing and enjoyed every bite.

This was a fun, easy dinner, that we'll definitely be doing again. And I look forward to changing up the ingredients and trying some different types of salad on top my new favorite way to enjoy pizza!