Lunch at Thai Restaurant, North Pole, AK

Kind of got behind on posting for awhile thanks to the two problem sets I had due today. So we’re back to some of the restaurants in Alaska. This was a Thai restaurant near the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska, one of the few asian options in the area. I would have preferred going to Green Pagoda (or a chinese restaurant nearby with an equally stereotypical name) but it was closed for the holidays. So Thai it is, unless you want to eat at Wendy’s or Mcdonalds or something.

They had shrimp in a blanket as an appetizer special, basically these were shrimps wrapped in spring roll skin and deep fried. Pretty nice, would be better if served with kewpie mayo.

Another appetizer we shared was the deep fried calamari which was decidedly less amazing. The squid was kinda tough and the breading pretty standard/thick.

Another special was the shrimp cashew udon. Everything here was really salty, this not withstanding. It was a little sweeter than typical yaki udon because I believe they cooked it with some of the sauce that goes into cashew chicken. They were pretty generous with the shrimp and cashews, but the udon itself was really greasy.

Their pad see ew was greasy (you can see the slick sheen of oil) and too salty too. Think they could have used more sweet sauce. I liked it, but it’s a lot unhealthier than normal pad see ews in the states.

Their yellow curry chicken or ga ree gai was not bad, very mild with lots of coconut milk, and one of the least salty because you could eat it with as much rice as you wanted to neutralize the saltiness.

I would steer clear of the tom yum goong. This was so salty we couldn’t even finish it.

Given the saltiness of everything, I still think this place would be better than a lot of the other establishments around. Restaurants here have almost no competition in the dining scene – I think you could probably could the number of places to eat out at on one hand (ok maybe two). The drive to Fairbanks is only about 1/2 an hour so maybe that’s where everyone goes.

So in a bid to blog more like Mrs Fujimoto and to personalize some of these posts, I’ve decided to start writing a little about the people I eat with. (Actually this is just an excuse to put this gif in a semi-public space)
Here is a lovely animated gif of one of our party while we were in Alaska. Meet Shawn. He is one of the most uninhibited people I know. Also one of the pickiest eaters – he doesn’t eat raw vegetables (which means he hates Subway), he doesn’t eat ANY mushrooms, cooked or raw (how can anyone not like mushrooms???!?), I can’t remember what else he doesn’t eat but it’s definitely one of the longest lists I’ve ever seen. So I actually only first met him at the Anchorage airport but 3 days later, here he is, jiving to Nicki Minaj in the hotel room. This is NOT normal for stereotypically reserved Asian people. He’s also an absurdly nice guy, and I say ‘absurdly’ because he’s so incredibly nice he always winds up as the one getting bullied. He’s really sui bian (laissez-faire) about what to do and where to eat so the slightly bossier people like me and ggy get to make decisions. If there’s something he really wants to see or do and nobody else he’s travelling with seems interested he’ll go off by himself on his own time, which is really considerate. He’s a bit of an ‘uncle’, which is slightly incongruous for someone who’s my age. But that also makes him really fun to talk to cause he just says whatever comes to mind without caring about whether he’ll be judged for it, and we can judge him freely all the time without worrying about hurting his feelings. Such friends are extremely nice to have for people like me who like judging other people a lot :P He’s also really fun to play tricks on. In our finance document (where we split the travel/food/activity costs in an online excel sheet) we charged him $1000 after the trip for a “rental car cleaning fee” because he dropped a lollipop stick in the front seat (he likes lollipops) and we saw that the fine in Fairbanks for littering was $1000. He actually believed it was levied by Hertz and was worried about it! Hahaha.


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