There is now a charming cave behind the ever-growing collection of food trucks at 502 Old Santa Fe Trail, across from the Capitol. It’s a lovely spot for a take-out box of Bo’s Authentic Thai noodles, which opened on October 19th.
And if the weather is freezing, there probably is no easier fun than sitting in your car and sipping the hot and tangy coconut broth of tom kha soup straight from the container.
But if you can stand the wait, taking these Thai dishes home and slipping them onto your prettiest plates elevates the culinary art into play.
In other words, they are magnificent.
Owner Sasitorn Prakod, who goes by Bo, works with her team (Chanisada and Pornsiri, who are called Da and Pookie) to create a rich list of popular Thai items and personal choices. These are helpfully marked on the menu, which features icons for gluten-free, “our favorite” and heat (spicy drunk noodles, although not on the menu, are available on request). The half-dozen entrees (all at $ 12.95) can be made with chicken, veg or tofu, or shrimp or beef for an additional $ 2.
“I chose the famous dishes, what people know and love,” Prakod said, “as well as some of my favorites.” So, traditional American dishes like Thai iced tea, spring rolls and pad Thai have their place on the menu alongside two different curries, Thai-style fried rice and pad see ew, flat stir-fried rice noodles. with soy sauce, broccoli, carrots and scrambled eggs.
There’s an invigorating and densely flavorful papaya salad available only on Fridays ($ 9.95) that somehow juggles sweetness, spiciness, spice, garlic bite and subtle hints of fish sauce and of dried shrimp. And the truck has a weekly special – previous choices included sticky rice with custard, drunken noodles, massaman curry and larb, a tangy Thai salad made with ground meat and fresh herbs.
So far, both curries – green and panang – and pad thai have been bestsellers, although the truck has seen more orders for fried rice and soup as the weather has cooled.
Prakod was born in Thailand and came to America in 2010 to study English as a second language. She has been cooking from a young age, inspired by her mother, who sells barbecue grills and Thai breakfasts.
“There are a lot of Thai restaurants in Santa Fe, but no food trucks, so I saw the opportunity to do that,” said Prakod, who moved here with his family in 2019.
The food truck – and the location – is a natural fit for the many state government employees and businessmen walking around for a weekday lunch. The truck is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. (Call about 15-20 minutes before you’re ready to pick up, unless you want to wait for everything to be made to order.)
I have eaten a lot of take out food at my office or in my car in my lifetime, but I was lucky enough to be able to take home an order from Bo on a recent Friday. Back home, I slipped everything onto white plates that showed every detail of the food’s warm palate of golden brown with pops of red, orange, and green.
Carefully sliced mushrooms and cilantro floated to the top of my bowl of tom kha soup. Delicate fingers of still crunchy spring rolls unfurl around a small container of sweet and sour orange sauce. Pad see ew’s large, soft noodles and tender chicken are served with expertly chopped carrots, small crowns of broccoli, pockets of scrambled eggs and an eye-catching pepper dusting. An equally thoughtful array of vegetables framed a generous serving of sautéed jasmine rice in a Bangkok-style brown sauce; the hot, hazelnut panang curry, poured over a bed of rice, surrounded a mound of large cubes of tofu and green and red pepper tips.
All of the dishes embodied the intricate qualities of Thai cuisine, combining contrasting tastes and textures in endless combinations. And I’m not sure there’s anything prettier – or tastier – than a mild and creamy Thai iced tea served with a meal like this or on its own.
This is the magic of dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate: It doesn’t matter whether they are served from a food truck window, on a dining room table, eaten in a simple box at lunch break or reheated and spread on delicate porcelain for a romantic dinner for two. The meal, however you enjoy it, is its own reward.