Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Beloved Big Bowl

My time in Chicago is coming to an end and I am expecting to gain about 20 pounds in the next 10 days trying to squeeze in every restaurant, dish and cocktail that I love before I go. Avec will surely be a stop, as will Shaw's, the Crepe Palace, my dive Mexican joint Angelas, and today's stop, Big Bowl. Ahh, Big Bowl. How I love their peanut sauce.

I have been a loyal patron of Big Bowl since it opened it's doors. I even waited tables there for a summer when I was still in college. Over the years, many of my favorite dishes have come and gone but the peanut sauce has always remained. Thank goodness!

There is no question that I love Thai food and that eventually I will travel that part of the globe and eat my way through it. According to the definition in Wikipedia, Thai Cuisine is known for its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal - hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. The flavors are there indeed, but what I love about the food is its textures and its lightness. Much like sushi, you can pound a huge Thai dinner but still walk away without having to unbuckle your belt.

Bruce Cost and Matt McMillin wrote the restaurant's cookbook and I highly suggest you get your hands on it. The recipes are complex but worth a shot. If you dine there, don't miss out on the summer rolls. They are my favorite.


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