Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's All About Number Ten


I've been blogging for nearly two years now and I cannot believe that in all this time I've said practically NOTHING about the best soup on the planet and my favorite restaurant. Perhaps I did and just never bothered to give it a proper label so I could look it up. Anyway, you all need to know about Sawasdee in Indianapolis (corner of 86th Street and Ditch for those of you that want to give it a visit). Sawasdee means, "hello" in Thai.

My brothers-in-law and I or my friend Brian and I typically visit this place for lunch during work. Everything on the lunch menu is delicious and they even spell "lunch" correctly on the menu, unlike Thai Castle in Carmel, Indiana (also a good Thai place, but nothing comes close to Sawasdee--NOTHING!!!!!). But there is one thing on the menu that we almost always get. Other places in the Indy metro area and in other towns have their own version of it, but nothing comes close. In some circles, this dish is known as "Thai Noodle Soup". At Sawasdee, it's known as "Number 10" because it's the 10th and last item on the lunch menu.

I don't need to see a menu when I go to Sawasdee. I don't even need to order. The waitress (who is a member of the family that owns the establishment) looks at me and says, "Numma tehn, medium wit two spring rolls," and I nod in agreement. What makes this soup so good? Why can't other restaurants match it's complexity of flavors? Here are just some of the things that we know are in the soup:

  • white chicken
  • shrimp balls (don't even go there--you know what I mean)
  • hot pepper flakes
  • ground peanut (at one point spelled "penut" on the menu)
  • chives
  • cilantro
  • thin rice noodles
  • bean sprouts
The broth is at least partially chicken based. Based on what I've read about Thai food it is probably fish based as well. There's a sweet, sour and spiciness in this dish that is like nothing else I've tasted--and it's inexpensive (about $7.50 with two spring rolls and a slice of fruit to cleanse your pallet). What else could be in there?

15 comments:

Hunny Bee May said...

Looks yummy. I coudn't eat it due to the shellfish allergy I've been dealt :( but I'll take your word for it. I love trying new foods but I tend to live vicariously through others when it comes to more exotic cuisines. The last time I tried something out of the ordinary I ended up having an "Exorcist" experience (I'll leave it to your imagination) and then I couldn't breathe and then after that the paramedics showed up and started throwing around words like 'anaphylactic shock' and 'real bad'. So anyhoo, I'm not much on trying Thai food for myself, but it sure looks tasty!

Mr. E said...

Sounds tasty!, but sadly the reason I am commenting is to give you my condolences on the REDS trading Griffey to the White Sox. I hope the players your REDS get help your team for next year.
Best of luck to Griffey though, if the W.Sox make it to the World Series.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Yum! I love Thai, but I am totally chicken to try new ethnic restaurants without a good recommendation. I make some pretty yummy Americanized Thai dishes, if I do say so my self, but authentic is always better.

Arby said...

As long as they were jumbo shrimp balls...

Big Doofus said...

hunny bee: Too bad about the shellfish thing.

mr. e: The trade is not yet confirmed, but I think it's going to happen. As sad as I am about it, it's the right direction for the ball club. Honestly, we thought he'd end up on the RED Sox in Boston. This is more interesting.

mmm: I encourage you to go out and try these places even if you DON'T get a recommendation. That's the only way you'll really know. It took me a while to start doing it, but now I'm glad that I do. There's a Japanese place down the street from my office that I used to make fun of all the time--until I went in. Now it's one of my favorites.

arby: I knew I'd hear from you about the shrimp balls. In fact, I would have disappointed had you NOT commented.

Arby said...

I don't know if I should take that as a compliment, or not. I found the link to your wife's blog on your blog. The contest was hysterical!

Big Doofus said...

It was a compliment (as far as you know--heh, heh). Seriously, your blog has been a welcome addition to my reading.

Hunny Bee May said...

Hey, I just noticed you added me to your blog roll. Woo Hoo! I hit the big time! A guy besides my husband reads my blog.
Also, I thought I had pretty much decided on a name for this baby, but "Chick Norris" may have just ousted my choice of Christiana. I'll have to talk to the husband about that. I'm sure he'll be all for it, though.
LOL, my in-laws have been all up in arms about some of the names we like. This oughta shut 'em up.

Big Doofus said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time now. I think it started when you left some comments on mine.

Uvulapie said...

You haven't lived until you've tried Mr. Squid's Squid Chips. YUM!

Mr. E said...

Hate to bring up the bears again but I think you will like this link...
http://www.snorgtees.com/1threattoamericabears-p-250.html?osCsid=494fbc32d49cd2dbf27251fc0f1f14ed

Mr. E.

eally said...

Okay, might be a crazy question but I haven't tried Thai food before and I noticed in the picture beside the soup bowl...it looks like chopsticks? Do you eat this soup with chosticks?? Then I'm guessing you pick up the bowl and drink the broth? LOL, just want to know my Thai-etiquette in case I go one day.

Big Doofus said...

uvulapie: I love me some squid.

mr. e: Thanks for that link. I may have to buy that shirt.

eally: You can eat that soup any way you want. But I guess the authentic way to eat it is with chopsticks and that big funky spoon you get in Asian restaurants. I've gotten to where I can do very well with chopsticks. You use it to pick up just about everything and then use the spoon to drink the broth and whatever else works its way into the spoon. Man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about this.

Rebekah said...

Dont think I have ever had Thai. My favorite lunch is #7 at the local Mexican joint

Sniz said...

I can't believe you didn't link to one of my two posts (there may be more) about Sawazdee's and your "Luch Club". Once again, I am on the outside looking in. Sigh.