Archive for December, 2013

New favorite bowl of noodles: Thai Boat Noodles at Zen Yai Thai!

Posted in Around the Bay Area, noodles with tags , , , , on December 9, 2013 by junkfoodie

My new current favorite bowl of noodles is at a small hole-in-the wall Thai place in Little Saigon in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. The place is clean, but not too much to look at. I recently led a group from Explore San Francisco through Little Saigon, and we stopped in for a bowl of these noodles. We were the only non-Thai customers in here on a Saturday afternoon. There are two chalkboards on the wall listing specials, but they are only written in Thai. Local SF foodies may know to order this off menu special, and if you get a chance, stop by and grab a bowl. The name Boat Noodles are a nod to the noodle vendors that sell their noodles from boats in the many waterways of Thailand.ImageYou can choose from beef or pork, thick or thin noodles, large or small bowl. I chose the small bowl of pork with thick noodles this time. The thick noodles are toothsome and slightly firm. Sliced pork, meatballs, some spinach-like greens in a small bowl covered in broth and topped with cracklings(!). The broth is what makes this dish though… long simmered broth, laden with chiles and intensified by the addition of beef blood! The blood lends a dusky, deep flavor without the metallic, “bloody” taste one might expect. Just enough heat from the chiles makes tray full of dried chiles, jalapenos, chile paste and sauces unneccesary. So good, you’ll finish the noodles, meat and cracklings, and probably want to lift the bowl to your lips and finish that broth.

 

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