Adventures in fish sauce.

I meant to post this on Wednesday, but because we were so busy with the last bits of moving house, it didn’t get a chance to. Here’s my account of “The Thai Incident.”

Tonight I am going to bed hungry. I am going to bed hungry because of fish sauce.

I love Thai food. The first time I had Thai was in NYC. I fell in love. What a sweet and spicy mixture of deliciousness. I could drink Thai iced tea by the gallon, if given the opportunity. So you can imagine my glee when good ole Plattsburgh finally got a Thai restaraunt of our own, Sawatdee Thai Restaurant.

I was so excited! Not only was it a Thai restaurant, but they also specified they were a vegetarian restaurant as well. It even said so on their windows! Joy!

On election night 2008, my husband and I went to Sawatdee Thai Restaurant for our anniversary. Since it was my first time at this restaurant, I inquired about the vegetarian meals and the use of fish sauce. I was assured that the red curry I was interested in could be made without fish sauce. I was told all I had to do was ask for my meal to be made without fish sauce and it wouldn’t be a problem. I took comfort in knowing that I could eat that particular dish and enjoyed it immensely. During subsequent trips, I also ate the green curry as well as some of the other tasty vegetarian meals they make.

We don’t get to go to Sawatdee often, because it isn’t a favorite cuisine of my husband. But, I had an intense craving for green curry tonight and I asked him if he would like to order Thai. See, we are still moving into our new home and I haven’t had a chance to cook in a long time. I really was looking forward to some tofu and veggies, because admittedly, my diet lately has been mainly what is quick and easy and not necessarily tasty. I placed my order for the green curry with tofu and no fish sauce, like I had been instructed to do in the past. I drove to the restaurant, saw a half rainbow (yay!) and went inside to pick up my food.

Once there, I was informed by the woman at the register that they were unable to make a green curry without fish sauce and the same thing goes for the red too. The only vegetarian curry is the yellow. She said that I should have been told that in the past, but I never have been told that and I have specifically asked for the meal without fish sauce every time.

I was very and angry and disappointed, as you could imagine. Mad because my order was messed up. Mad for food wasted, because I couldn’t eat it. For a moment, I debated on getting the yellow curry, but it had veggies in it that I didn’t want and I would have to wait an additional ten minutes while it was being made. Part of the reason I ordered take out in the first place is because I didn’t have the time to cook!

I decided that I didn’t want the yellow curry and I asked her to remove the meal from my bill. I bought my husband’s meal and my Thai iced tea. She told me she gave me extra rice and didn’t charge me for it, but what does that really make up for? The rice just went with a meal I couldn’t eat.

I didn’t think of it at the time, but most restaurants will take your phone number when you place a takeout order. That didn’t happen tonight. I am guessing this practice is to avoid situations like this. If Sawatdee had taken this simple step, I could have been called, changed my order, and I could have enjoyed a nice meal tonight and blogged about it positively, instead of writing this negative report.

I was so disappointed and angry and hungry, that I had all I could do not to burst into tears on my drive home. The rainbow was gone by that point too.

Sure, I am angry and disappointed. No, I am not looking for a free meal. I just want it to be made known that those two dishes are not vegetarian, contrary to what me or anyone else has been led to believe. I am very serious about my vegetarianism and I am disgusted that I have unknowingly eaten fish sauce when I have been there, even though I took precautions to ensure that I was getting an entirely vegetarian meal.

Will I be going back to Sawatdee in Plattsburgh? I don’t know. I am wiser now, but I just don’t want to take any chances. We’ll have to see.

At least the Thai iced tea was good. But, I think I will have to look a recipe so I can make it on my own. If you have one, please share it with me.

As for me, I am drinking a nice, cold glass of water and munching on some pecans and cashews. What, if anything, are you eating?

Have a great night friends and keep cooking!