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Aug 10, 2010 08:47 PM

Escondido Thai Temple Eats?

A thread last year about the Wat in Escondido mentioned the possibility of a food festival for Songkran.

I'm wondering if this Thai temple offers food for purchase on a regular basis. In particular, this coming Sunday, August 15?

Wat Thai Buddhist Temple
139 W 11th Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

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  1. Ha - that first post was from me. I am not sure if they offer food on a regular basis.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Yes, I thought so!

      No one has anything new to say about the Thai Temple?

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I walk or jog by there with some frequency, and I have never seen food for sale except for the Songkran festival (which is sometimes weeks after L.A.'s celebrations). I once asked someone in the yard if they were serving food the next day (for Songkran), and they said "no" but invited me inside if I was in search of food. I declined.
        If the opportunity presents itself, I will ask someday if they have any other food days.

        1. re: maestra

          Thanks for the info. Some other Thai temples that don't serve food every week will often have something for the king's birthday (December 5) as well as Songkran. You might want to keep an eye out around that time.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            did you make it to surati or fiesta oaxaquena?

            1. re: kare_raisu

              Yes, on Surati, here's the post,
              and I did stop at Fiesta Oaxaquena but the dishes I was interested in were not available. Nor the churro cart at the swap meet that day.

              I just called the temple to see if there would be food available for lunch this Sunday. Yes, there will and things start around 10:30/11am according to the person I spoke with.

              Any updates on the temple lunches?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                This last Sunday, July 31, the Thai people from the Temple had a picnic at Kit Carson Park. It was a pot luck extravaganza and everything was free. They had games for the kids; tug of war, soccer, water ballon toss, etc. I don't know what the occasion was, but it was a pretty wonderful time.

                We've been going to theTemple almost every Sunday lately. There is always barbeque, som tum and sticky rice. There is also noodle soup - pork, not beef last time - and grilled Northern sausages. Man those sausages are good. It's $2 for a sausage or a pork or chicken stick, I think $4 for som tum and a dollar for a small bag of sticky rice..

                The women at the far right side of the food area sell a bunch of home made items and home grown vegetables and herbs. You can get Thai beef jerky, or a bag of five of the big fat sausages to cook at home for $5. Did I say they were fantastic? They're juicy and meaty and you can taste lemon grass and pork and a bunch of other things. If I had one right now I could tell you better, I'll work on my describing skills this Sunday.

                There are also plastic containers of what I guess I'd call salads. Some are hot and spicy, some are pickled, some are both. We got a pint of a pickled one this week that had bamboo and cucumbers. Outstanding. They also sell what my wife calls chilis. They are too dry and thick to be called dips, they are more like pastes; she smears them on rice or vegetables. Again, some are really hot, some can be fishy, but they are all interesting and very tasty.

                Check it out. We try to get there around noon and stay for a couple of hours. Everybody is really friendly, the prices are low and everything you spend there either goes to the Temple or the women. They can all use the help.

                1. re: Uncle Lefty

                  Thank you for the up to the minute reporting, Uncle Lefty! I'm staying in San Marcos Saturday night and have lunch plans at Super Cocina on Sunday. But I'm gonna stop on the way south at the temple around 10:30a to see what's up. This time I'm driving down from San Francisco and back so I can load up on goodies! Those chili pastes sound like nam prik ... or as one chowpal calls them, "ratatouille on steroids". I definitely need to get some of the jerky and sausage to take home too.

                  If you're there on the early side, please try to find me! Let's chowdown and invite others to join us. I'm just sorry that I can't stay long. I've been to all four of the Thai temples in the San Francisco Bay Area and would love to see how this compares. So far, it sounds very similar to our San Bruno wat with the veggie sales and homemade wares.

                  Super Cocina
                  3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Thai temple food and Super Cocina in one day. That's a nice home cooked doubleheader.

                    You are right about 'nam prik'. 'Nam' means water in Thai, so the description is misleading. There is nothing watery about these chili pastes.

                    I hope you're not disappointed. 10:30 may be too early; probably the barbeque won't be ready. But even if the food ladies are still setting up they'll be happy to sell you what you need.

                    I've only been to the temple just north of the Ashby BART station in Berkeley. That one is much bigger and has a much larger selection of foods than Escondido. Try the one in North Hollywood some time. It is immense; as big or bigger than many temples in Chiang Mai.

                    I don't think we'll be there before noon, but if you see a semi-chubby, middle-aged falang eating and sweating, it could be me. (Though that probably describes every non-Thai guy there.)

                    I hope you have a great time.

                    Super Cocina
                    3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

    2. My wife and I were there just after noon on Sunday, September 26. There was barbequed chicken and pork, sticky rice and som tum for sale. I saw some deserts and soft drinks as well. Pretty small selection, but even sitting in the 175 degree heat it was pretty satisfying. I asked the som tum lady if there was food every week and said she was always there.

      The best thing was the greens for sale ('pak' in Thai). There were three or four Thai women selling things from their gardens. We filled several grocery bags with things (some I haven't seen here in the states) like eggplants about the size of peas (sharp flavor), green spiky, stemmy herbs that tasted like garlic and white and green striped egg-shaped eggplants about the size of a quarter. The women all stressed the greens were organic and were very proud of what they had.

      There were also some plants for sale. We bought a couple; one was the saw-toothed, minty herb you often get with pho in Vietnamese restaurants, the other was a viny thing my wife said she's been unable to start from cuttings or seed here. There were chiles and a couple of ornamentals as well.

      Why Nittaya was yak yaking with the vegetable ladies I asked around. They offer Thai and English classes as well as Thai dancing classes for the kids. I can't be sure everything will be there every week, but you call (760) 741-3459 and ask. I do know they go all out for Buddhist Holidays. Big food. Strange wonderful treats. Loy Khatong is coming up in early to mid November. Be there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Uncle Lefty

        Thanks so much for your report. I don't know when I'll be back to San Diego, but it will definitely be on my chow list. Please keep us posted on your future visits there.

      2. This looks interesting! Thank you.
        I may have to try out some temple eats!
        Do they still have a food area every Sunday around noon?

        I found their website:

        Looks like they have a few restaurants that advertise on their site.

        ร้าน Sarika Kitchen San Marcos, ร้าน King&I, ร้าน Thai Gardent, ร้าน Pad Thai , คุณนาง อ่อนไชเวียง ร้าน Chai Oriental ถวายภัตตาหารเพล คุณฉัตรชัย แสงโภคัย ถวายโดนัท ทุกอาทิตย์

        King and I and the Chai Oriental market look like they might be worth a try...

        via google translation:

        ll Sarika Kitchen San Marcos, all King & I, all Thai Gardent, free Pad Thai, you are Mrs. Kong Chai Chai Oriental restaurant offering food can play an important offering donut Chatchai light Bhopal every week.

        1 Reply
        1. re: koreansoup

          They do have something every Sunday. It varies, but there is almost always barbecue - chicken, pork and sausages - for $2 a stick. Som tum (papaya salad) is always there as well as noodle soup. If it's a Buddhist holiday there will be a much bigger deal. Check out the women selling things from their gardens, as well as the woman selling homemade sausages. You'll see some different herbs and vegetables and the sausages are great.

          There is always a giant spread in the kitchen, for free, that is left over after the monks eat. My wife won't let go in there, but I see a lot of people helping themselves. You might wander into the kitchen looking lost and hungry and I'll bet someone will offer you a plate. You have to go through the kitchen to pray, so there's no reason not to be in there. But you didn't hear it from me.

        2. With Songkran (Thai New Year and Water Festival) coming up, I wanted to post some impressions from my quick visit last August. Thanks to Uncle Lefty for the encouragement.

          Things were still getting set up when I arrived. Giant bundles of homegrown herbs were being put out for sale.

          I was greeted warmly as a newcomer. When I said that I was visiting from San Francisco, I was told that Escondido’s Wat Buddhajakramongkolratanaram is a sister to the Berkeley temple. As in Berkeley, cash donations are exchanged for tokens that can be redeemed for food items. What’s available and the number of tokens required is displayed on overhead signs.

          I noticed one farang gentleman and asked him if he was “Lefty”. He said, “No, I’m a righty!”

          The first batch of skewers was almost ready to come off the grill.

          While I waited for my order, I watched the som tum station mixing a green papaya salad to the customer’s specs.

          No nam prik this day because the lady who makes it was absent. But some desserts were available for take-away.

          Skewers are $2 each, sticky rice, $1. I tried the turmeric-yellow stained chicken skewer and the homemade Thai (non-sour) sausage with the sweet chili sauce. I liked the sausage so much, I bought frozen ones to take home, 6/$5.

          That’s all I had time to sample as I needed to meet up with some chowpals at Super Cocina for lunch. I brought the grilled sausage and sticky rice leftovers with me so they had a chance to try them as well. They pronounced them delectable too.

          Well worth a stop!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            The festival will take place 4/22 according to their website. I hope to meet some of you out there. It will be my 1st time out there.