One of the perfect ways for an introvert to be brave and adventurous is to try new restaurants. Take your favorite extrovert, discover a food you've never tried before, and enjoy learning something new. Over the years, my husband and I have tried everything from the commonly accepted Chinese cuisine to the rare Hungarian. I've eaten Japanese food similar to what my parents ate when they lived in the country, Korean food at a friend's house, and Czech kolaches baked by my grandmother. But I'd never eaten at a Thai food restaurant -- perhaps because the cuisine is known for its curries and I am not a fan of spicy foods.
But I'm brave anyway. So, when the professor of my Teaching Languages class at the University of Oklahoma suggested we use the money we earned from a presentation we gave to go out to eat together, I jumped at the chance. We decided to eat at Thai restaurant that I'd never heard of, though I'd driven past its location many times: Panang 7 in Moore, Oklahoma.
Our group consisted of two members born and raised in the United States, one who grew up in Canada until her teen years, two students on visas from China and South Korea, a member from Uzbekistan, and one person born in Japan. Needless to say, we had many different palates to please, and Panang 7 did the trick.
Having never eaten Thai food, I mostly listened while the rest of my party discussed the appetizers we'd order to share with everyone. They choose Fresh Spring Rolls (pictured above) and Spring Rolls with their homemade sweet and sour sauce. I tried the later, and they were good. But just not my preference. I did like the flavor of the sweet and sour sauce.
I also very much appreciated the 1-5 spice scale. My friends from Asia were clearly more adventurous than I, choosing 3 or 4 on the spice scale. I pondered off-handedly whether or not there was a zero on the spice scale and the waitress must have heard me because she did not ask my spice preference and when she delivered my meal, she stated that it was the pineapple friend rice -- no spice. I was immediately impressed. (Yes, I'm a sucker for customer service representatives who listen to me.)
Having never been to a Thai restaurant, I was a bit nervous about what to eat. I wasn't alone, but our well-travelled friends had our backs. They suggested that if we like fried rice at Chinese restaurants (I do!) then we'd like the pineapple friend rice. I decided to take their advice and that's what I ordered.
As you can see from the pictures above, the portions were HUGE. I think I only ate about 1/3 of what I was served -- and that was a lot for me. Not only was I hungry, but the food was flavorful and just the right temperature and texture.
Not only that, most of us were also able to order a dessert like sweet sticky rice with mango or a second entree for under $35.
I, for one, am looking forward to taking my family and trying the Thai iced coffee (unfortunately, I am not a fan of tea -- iced, sweet, hot, or otherwise).
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