"Thai" this one on for size. Just when you thought you had mastered the various succulent varieties of Thai cuisine, Thai E-San is ready to throw you for a loop with pickled crags. That's right, crabs. For more on these briny crustaceans check out this week's cafe column.
Food Critic Michele Laudig on Thai E-San:
My first bite was the expected tanginess and cool crunch of shredded papaya, followed by extreme, lip-searing heat. I'd asked for four out of five on the heat index, and this was no joke -- a few delicate, paper-thin slices of red Thai chile in the salad had me gulping for my Thai iced tea. Then, underneath the papaya, I found chunks of pickled crab in the shell, whose flavor practically knocked me off my chair.
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It tasted strongly of the ocean and was intensely, almost numbingly, salty. (Almost.) At that point, I should have stopped, but I actually ate a few more bites out of pure curiosity, as if it would somehow grow on me in a matter of minutes. For as much as I couldn't handle the crab, it was still exciting to find something so hardcore, and to find out the hard way that Thai E-San really will bring the heat if you ask for it...full story