So, in case I haven’t made it clear, I love spicy food. I said it before in “Some Like It Hot.” I have an ongoing love affair with capsicum, the little chemical that makes spicy food hot. It’s really good for you.So often, I sit down in a restaurant and see the little “spicy” icon () on the menu. I eagerly order the item thinking, “This is gonna be good!” I dive in with my fork and wonder where the spiciness is. It is very disappointing. That’s because most people’s idea of “hot” is my idea of mild.
Years ago, I moved back to Portland, Oregon from Columbus, Ohio when my dear mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A block away from her apartment was this place that sold doughnuts and Thai food. My parents said the doughnuts were the best!
I had some one morning and they were right. I still don’t know what makes The Honey Jar‘s doughnuts better, but they are really good. Eleven years later, and I still will go out of way to get a doughnut there, not that I should be eating doughnuts at all.
Also, one day, I decided to try their Thai food. The cook was an older Thai woman and she personally took our orders and cooked them. It was a wonderful setting, very family-like. My wife and I both order Pad Thai, my favorite. Barbara had never had it before. I asked for spicy. She asked for mild. When hers came, she made the “I’m dying” face and wouldn’t eat her meal. The cook saw her and made her a whole new plate with absolutely no spiciness at all. Barbara was content. I was was too. Mine was very good and very hot.
Over the next eleven years, I’ve recommended the place to a lot of people. I haven’t seen the woman there since that one day, but the food is every bit as good as it was back then.
Yesterday, I went there. To my delight, the latest menu says that you can order any meal mild, medium, hot, or very hot. I didn’t hesitate to ask for it very hot, recalling my experiences at other restaurants who falsely label mild food as spicy.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed. It was not only very hot. It was very very hot. Now, I’m not complaining. In fact, I was greatly pleased that the menu accurately described it. Shame on those other places that don’t know mild from hot. Unfortunately, it was too hot for me to eat in one sitting, so I asked for a box.
This morning, I came home from my workout at the gym famished. I opened up the refrigerator and saw that white takeout box full of pad thai and a momentary sense of foreboding overcame me. My pad thai was actually scaring me. Not to worry. I’m having it for lunch.
If you get the chance and live in the Portland area, do check out The Honey Jar at 13810 N.E. Sandy Blvd in Portland. It is good, good, good thai food. Just beware. When it says, “very hot”, it means it.