|"Steak", on Sukhumvit Highway 3 in Rayong|
[This is part 18 of a series that may or may not ever find its way to a proper conclusion. It has to do with my latest trip to Thailand, and the people, places and things I encountered along the way. You can find the rest of the series by clicking here on Trip Reports.]
Chantaburi Province rests between the Gulf of Thailand and the Cambodian border; right above Trat, the Southernmost province on the Eastern "leg" of the country. The name comes from two Sanskrit words: chandra, meaning moon, and buri, meaning town.
While the island of Koh Phangan may host the grand bacchanalia that is the full moon party I was relieved to learn that this area is the polar opposite, thank goodness. In fact, other than areas more commonly visited by foreigners set on raising hell most places are far more normal; something - as television hostess and former convict Martha Stewart would say - is a good thing.
|The daughter, working in the open kitchen of "Steak"|
After the detour to see my friend's "new" home we pulled out again onto Highway 3/Sukhumvit (yes, the same Sukhumvit that runs through Bangkok) and continued South. I was looking forward to what promised to be a fairly calm and restful weekend, but I couldn't seem to pry any more details about it out of my friend other than our destination was a small, family-owned resort in the Laem Sing area, near Chantaburi. I was satisfied with that, for the time being, and watched the scenery sail by.
|Ride 'em, cowboys...|
It swayed like the palms along the roadside, and I breathed a quiet sigh of relief when my friend pulled around and left them behind us.
"Are you hungry?" my friend asked, and I had to admit that I was, even though I'd had a large bowl of rice porridge with pork for breakfast. "I've eaten at this place before," he said, already slowing and pulling to the side of the road "I think you'll like it." "What's it called?" I asked, and he replied "Steak". "No, I meant what is the name of it, not what do they serve..." I began, but he looked at me as if I'd asked five times already and said "It's called 'Steak'," but they serve many things."
|My lunch entree - pork on rice|
As it turned out it was what I'd call a typical Mom and Pop place back home; basic, home style food in a casual setting. The same as you're likely to see in any of ten thousand other locations throughout Thailand. About the only differentiating feature here were the packaged snacks for sale on each table, and the bottles of their own BBQ sauce that were also available for purchase.
Along with the banana chips and crispy crepe-style rolls there was a domed cup of small dumplings that reminded me of deep-fried gnocci. My friend called them what sounded like "gahree" puffs, but I'm unable to find an online reference for them. Filled with fish, peppers and yellow bean they were just slightly sweet, and the crust that held it all was crisp. You can see the insides below.
I'd already taken a picture of the daughter while the man behind her cooked our meals, but wanted one of him, too, so she called out "Papa!" and he turned and posed.
It was a good break in a good spot, despite the traffic along Sukhumvit. Drinks, an appetizer, two entrees and the snacks we purchased to take along with us came to less than 150 baht.
|The dining area, thankfully in the shade|
Our next official stop was said to be our destination. I dozed a few minutes along the way, and woke up as we pulled off of the highway. "Almost there," my friend assured me, and I was ready.