100 Favorite Dishes: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor
No. 75: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor
When it comes to Thai cuisine in Denver, US Thai gets all the accolades, and while they're well-deserved, the beloved Thai temple in Edgewater has formidable -- and fierce -- competition, namely from Thai Flavor, a florescent-lit, brightly hued storefront anchored in a weathered Aurora mini-mall. The board is a listage of all the basic Thai dishes that we're familiar with, but with a few marked differences: Owner and chef Surin Thanon makes her curry pastes from scratch and the chiles -- intensely hot little suckers -- are grown in her own garden, and sometimes in the restaurant, during chile season.
Her food has a pronounced freshness, and her flavors are pungent and pure, in everything from the curries to her soups, including the tom yum goong, a bubbling cauldron of steam and fragrance that permeates the air with its fresh lemongrass and lime leaves. Stocked with shrimp, straw mushrooms, pulpy tomatoes and onions, it's a flavor blast that's both profoundly sour and wickedly hot, thanks to the dried chiles that float menacingly across the surface. Thanon doesn't shy away from searing her dishes with heat, and while you'll be breathing the kind of fire that numbs your lips and shocks your senses, it's a brilliant walk on the wild side.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro
In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver 2010 issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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