Last weekend my husband and I experienced something we previously believed to be nothing more than a parenting urban legend – a situation so mystical, so magical, so unicorn-like in its impossibility, that some will try to say it didn’t really happen.
I’m here to assure you, it did. And, if you’re really lucky (and if you believe in unicorns – not at all related, but what can it hurt, really?), maybe one day it will happen to you.
BOTH of our children were invited to impromptu sleepovers on the SAME night within minutes of each other.
I KNOW. It was like spotting a narwhal on Corpus Christi Bay.
We have never, in nearly nine years of raising kids together, had both of our children away from home on the same night. Finding out you suddenly have an entire night together, with no kid-related responsibilities, stretching out in front of you and no babysitter to pay at the end of it? THAT is the adult version of going to Disney World, y’all.
We dropped the kids off and hit 281 South, no particular destination in mind other than to find a place we’d never been before. Suddenly, it occurred to me.
“Tuk Tuk Taproom!” I shouted.
“Bless you,” my husband responded.
“No! Tuk Tuk Taproom – David Gilbert’s new craft beer / Asian street fare place on Broadway. THAT is where we’re going. Now! Step on it, Jeeves.” (I’m lucky my husband adores me and is easy-going. Not everyone is as amenable to my bossy–and loud–ways.)
Tuk Tuk Taproom opened last summer on Broadway (across from the Pearl). This was our first (and definitely not our last) visit. Chef David Gilbert (who served my husband and me an anniversary meal we’ll never forget when he was executive chef of Sustenio) and his partners, Steve and Jody Newman (of The Friendly Spot), offer a huge variety of craft beers on tap. The menu, which recommends beer pairings, includes some of Gilbert’s favorite Asian dishes and his own travel-inspired creations derived from his visits to Asia.
I’m not a foodie (I only play one on Instagram) but I’m going to try to describe what we ate. Bear with me and promise not to giggle.
We started with the green papaya salad (there’s no photo of it – we ate it much too quickly) which is a wonderfully light starter, only slightly fruity and with a great, spicy kick and chopped peanuts for extra crunch. Then we had the task of deciding which of the incredible-sounding menu items we would share. We decided on two of the specials.
Muu Kaphrao: stir fry pork with Thai chili basil, kaffir lime leaf, hen egg, and jasmine rice
When we ordered this dish, I expected it to come with sliced pork. Instead it had ground pork, which was a delightful surprise. It was savory and spicy but not oily (which this newly-fat-gram-conscious chick appreciated). The creaminess of the broken yolk complimented the rich flavor of the pork nicely and the crunchiness of the fried egg white’s edges gave this dish additional texture.
Kuaytiaw Khua Goong: stir fry rice noodle with chicken, egg, dry chili, and prawns
This reminded me of a sophisticated version of a Thai dish I’ve always loved: pad kee mao, aka Drunken Noodles. I have no idea if the two are related, but they seemed similar. While most of the versions of pad kee mao I’ve had were heavy on the noodles and light on veggies and chicken, this dish was just the opposite. Yeah for greens! The chicken was decadently moist. This selection alone is responsible for my new found desire to sell our house and move next door to Tuk Tuk Taproom.
We enjoyed some beer too. I had Shiner Kosmos (our served recommended it to me based upon my preference for Stella Artois) and loved it. I can’t tell you what Roger had (See? Not a foodie. Any self-respecting foodie would have written that down!) but it was beer. He was happy.
We had a fantastic time at Tuk Tuk Taproom and can’t wait to go back. If you visit, don’t miss the specials and be sure to tell Chef David we said hi. He’s talented, friendly, and fun, and his new place is a one-of-a-kind culinary treasure in San Antonio.
We wrapped up our impromptu date night with a low-fat visit to a froyo shop and we were home by 8:30 in time to watch many episodes of Sons of Anarchy without interruptions and with the sound turned way up. And, if that sounds lame to you, you may not be a parent. 😉