Monday, June 6, 2011

grand moving

bangkok's too small of a pond to explore, so i've expanded onto worldwide travel eating, writing, and generally getting lost.

visit my new site: the Mean, Mean Travel Guide here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

a new and exciting career in...medical tourism blogging?

i was looking up some tourist information since the happy grunt (and family) are coming to bangkok in a couple weeks and i ran across this:

medical tourism in thailand is hot.

as a foreigner, it's definitely been cheaper for me to get first-rate health care here paying out-of-pocket than it has been to be insured in the US. so it makes sense that the tourism board here would want to promote travel relating to medical procedures and health care.

my local hospital, vejthani, has a massive advertising campaign, soliciting clients worldwide. i even saw them doing "product placement" in thai soap operas. you know, some poor maiden is struck with some horrendous disease and while her nemesis profits from her illness by stealing her boyfriend, you rest assured that she'll improve because she's staying at vejthani. phew!
it's a super long shot for me and my meager blog, but i figured, why not give it a shot. this is exactly the reason why i got a public health degree. thanks, johns hopkins!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

thai bread balloon

"pung weii...heii!"

western and eastern bread were not created equal. while western bread prizes the development of crust, tooth-someness, and a certain yeastiness, eastern bread delights in airiness, velvety oiliness, and what you can stuff in it.

this is the bread made to addict the thai palate.

"pung weii...heii" makes football-sized buns and loaves that bake up to a fluffy balloon packed (yes, really packed) with fillings. sweet fillings include red bean, blueberry, vanilla cream, raisins, taro, corn, coconut, and chocolate almond among others. savories include pork floss (who knows what else to call it. we chinese call it "ro-song"), tuna salad, ham and cheese, sausage, ham salad, and red pork. before you poo-poo this place as ordinary or un-noteworthy, just try it. i've already been twice this week and have daydreamed about what to try next.
while this place is out of the way (unless you live near a branch), there is a constant flow of people coming to buy regardless of the fact that there is no seating and you have to eat it in your car or take it home. or if you're impatient like me, inhale it immediately before you have a chance to figure out what to do next. who needs seating?
i've had the red bean, taro, and pork floss buns and i'm hooked. each bun is totally heavy because of how much junk they stuff inside. the taro bun was like a paperweight. the pork floss loaf had like a dense brick of pork floss inside. the sweet buns weren't too sweet and very fresh. this is the stuff dreams are made of. of course, while there are so many flavors to choose from, there are several i will NOT be trying - like "butter"!?!? and the "mixed fruit" bun is just stuffed with candied fruit chunks used in fruitcake.

every bun is a steal at 20B. so while you may feel guilty about eating five loaves, your wallet won't.

"pung weii...heii!" (ปังเว้ย...เฮ้ย!)
kaset-nawamin (new) @ marker 138 (it's the road btw nawamin sois 74 & 76, there's a mcdonalds on the corner)

other locations:
*town in town (02-539-2119)
*ratchayothin (02-513-5570)
*wachraphon intersection (086-996-9447)
*laksi (02-521-4107)

Monday, August 16, 2010

a better butter

little home bakery

what american doesn't love a good brunch here and there? what other meal can be leisurely stretched into two meals? what other meal is only socially acceptable on weekends? what other meal can legitimately pack in tons of carbs and butter?

i guess that's what it comes down to: butter. here in asia, the reigning fat solid is an orange, vegetable oil margarine-like substance, whose unmistakable fragrance wafts out of every bakery. it also leaves that distinctive oily aftertaste when you shove down a pork floss bun.

and this is where little home bakery stands tall in its stalwart defense of BUTTER! their goods have the full, rounded flavor of butter. and in case that's not enough for you, your banana pancake (80B) or strawberry waffle (95B) comes with a proud, defiant scoop of white, smooth butter melting in glory.

for those "brunch-should-block-my-arteries" folks, you can always get the american breakfast with two eggs, bacon, pancakes, grilled tomato, fried potatoes, coffee and juice (165B). and for those disgusted by that, you can always order from their extensive thai menu (75-125B).

bright, sunny, half-diner-half-cafe ambience, little home bakery's a perfect spot to meet your friends for butter - i mean, brunch.

little home bakery
thonglor, between soi 23-25
weekdays 8am-9pm, weekends 9am-9pm

Saturday, July 31, 2010

it's as exciting as toast

after you

it's dry, it used to be bread, it is light tan - it's toast!

oh ye of little faith, believe me when i tell you this toast is worth it. 3 inches tall and smothered with shibuya honey, nutella, peanut butter & bananas or other scrumptious sundries plus ice cream and whipped cream - this isn't your grandma's toast. this is toast in splendor.
for all ye nonbelievers, don't worry, after you has other desserts. between 4 of us, 5 desserts didn't stand a chance. two toasts, applesauce brownie (with ice cream), baked sundae (lava cookie with ice cream), millecrepe (crepes stacked with whipped cream), and four quadruple bypasses. i pity our arteries and the cow that had to produce all the cream we consumed.
baked sundae oozing

applesauce brownie. light, yet intensely chocolatey.

millecrepe with creme brulee-sugared top.

my only regret was not being able to try one of their many coffee drinks. i am not of the breed who's able to drink coffee at night and not become a vampire. next time, i'm getting my lazy butt up for breakfast (since after you opens at 7am) and throwing down a coffee and a breakfast toast. yes, savory or sweet, you can have your toast at any time of day.

after you
thonglor soi 13, j avenue
desserts 145-200B
open 7am-midnight
02 712 9266
other locations @ paholyothin la villa and central world 7th fl.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

she works at night

smiley "i cream"

walk down pradipat road during the day and you feel like you're in any generic part of asia. you got your stores, your street vendors, your restaurants, your hotels. but glory! when night falls, pradipat explodes into a thriving street-walking hotspot. we can thank the thriving "massage" industry for that (not so glory). all sorts of things come out at night.

you want to get your happy ending?

stop for ice cream. what were you thinking? you and your dirty mind! it's not that kind of post. 270/19 pradipat is a generic gold shop by day - but oh ho! by night, it unfurls as a homemade ice cream shop.
want a sign? too bad, you won't find one. the nice owner-lady had to tell us the name of the shop, "smiley," since apparently secret ice cream shops are more fitting with the massage parlors.

when i went, the very nice lady told us about her ice cream: it's more like sorbet rather than a heavy, thick gelato. hers are refreshing, using traditional thai flavors like farang buey (syrup-soaked guava), dragonfruit & cranberry, or coconut among other traditional flavors like cookies & cream or strawberry.
for 20B a scoop, your ice cream comes with specially paired toppings like spicy sugar or thai sour plums.

i also like the old guy sitting out in the shop. he's like the sweet lady's sour plum - all he said was, "hey, did they pay you, yet?" of course, nothing on pradipat is free.

smiley ice cream
270/19 pradipat rd. (btw soi 19 & 21)
nearest bts @ saphan kwai

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

no, it's not a gay bar, but it is fabulous

the fabulous

when i walk down khao san rd, it looks virtually the same as the first time i came to bangkok in 2002. boho backpackers in wannabe beach environs, red bull tees, tribeswomen selling jangling accessories, pad thai every 10m, etc.

that's what makes the fabulous, extra-uber fabulous. this adorable coffee-dessert shop tucked away off of khao san rd is a welcome oasis of retro-style, quiet, and best of all: absence of seediness.
unlike other establishments in the area, this unique shop feels more akin to the cafes along thonglor or ekamai, flaunting its twee ambience. it's cute and it knows it. what else would you expect of a place that has an antique record player actually spinning records that don't play music?
free wifi, illy coffees (70-100+B), desserts (100-160B).

the fabulous
32 jakkapong rd, next to the true coffee shop.
hours 10am-12:30am.
02 629-1144