Monday, March 21, 2011


This box of phad Thai was resting against the mossy wall of the Stumbling Monk on Olive and Belmont, closed neatly, the chop sticks still wrapped. I’ve always enjoyed this sidewalk, and tonight it was especially arresting under the light of a “Supermoon.” The “Supermoon,” closer to the Earth than it had been in eighteen years, illuminated a nest of noodles and green onions dramatically when I lifted them from the box. The noodles were the temperature of the early spring air, slightly stiff and damp with spicy oil that had hardened from the cold, and perhaps the passage of time. The cashews, however, were oddly soft. I brought the phad thai back into the bar to share. Inside, lamp light revealed cubes of fried tofu in the bottom of the box, also saturated with spicy oil. “You can’t get herpes from a cashew,” mused my dining companion as we washed the last of the noodles down with St. Bernardus and Cask-Conditioned Elysian IPA. Unless herpes is part of the magic of Thai food discarded under a full moon, he was surely right.

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