wat thai - suggestions?
After hearing great things about Wat Thai and the food stalls there, I've been planning on going for some time. Does it go on every weekend? Is there a better time or day to go on? I read some previous posts about parking in the neighborhood and just walking there. I also heard that $20 per person is more than enough.
Yes, every weekend, vendors rotate go either day. Most here suggest going late morning/noonish for best selection, I travel a long distance and usually arrive later and still find good grub! Prices are low, $1 drinks and assorted BBQ meats on stick, $3 salads and entrees, $1-5 desserts! You eat $20 worth of food at Wat Thai and you'll not be hungry until the next day!
Buy tokens at booth, spend at the food vendors and either return unused tokens to booth or keep for next time.
Whenever it is mango season, I make sure I get an order to go, like many of the Thai people. You rarely get this dish in restaurants, and it will keep well for your long ride home.
Actually, the deserts are my favorite, even if they were not so rare a find. You can mix the various sweet porriges into one order. Heavenly!
I go many times by myself, and eat my meal in stages. I don't mind standing in line for each course, because it gives me an opportunity to people watch.
Many times real estate on the communal picnic benches is dear, but getting close and cozy is part of the fun. Invariably someone will talk to me. And if I get up to get something more to eat, they will offer to save my seat. Otherwise it is fun to sit with another crowd.
re: Yvonne I
if you are getting the mango w/ sticky rice to go be sure you eat it the same day or the mango will start to turn black. it's still edible and good, but doesn't look as appetizing. or if you know you will be saving it for more than a few hours, you can ask for it with the mango unpeeled.
Make sure to try the papaya salad made to order, the sticky rice and mango and the Thai sausage (although I ended up with a different sausage last time -- I prefer the really chubby one with rice filling.) The duck noodle soup is also excellent. It shouldn't be very hard to park around there on a non-holiday weekend.
There are often two stalls that have som tum (the green papaya salad)...look for the one with the long line and then join it! I'm not a fan of the crab version of som tum, so I get it without that. But otherwise, a brilliant rendition. Be sure to get an order of sticky rice to eat with it (great for sopping up the sauce and, if you are talented, for actually picking up the papaya with).
I also recommend the red fish curry (haw mohk) that comes in a banana leaf.
I wish there was a decent beverage to be had. I have tried the nam manao (manao (thai lime/lemon) based ade) and it was just a blaah lemonade. The thai iced coffee was pretty lame as well. Am I missing the secret beverage treasure horde?
On non-holiday weekends, parking is not too bad in the immediate neighborhood - I have never had to walk more than 2 blocks or so. I never park in their lot because it is a madhouse and never seems worth the effort.
Also, I have never spent $20 per person, try as I might :)
I second the vote for the sticky rice with mango!
As far as whether it's good, I didn't love everything I tried, but I also didn't get to try everything I wanted to because I went to the festival last weekend and the lines were long and they were running out of things. I think it's worth checking out at least once, for sure. You can try a lot of different things for very little money.