Cornbread in Thailand

Thai food is arguably the best cuisine on the face of the planet, with an endless array of dishes and flavors to suit almost any palate, at prices that won’t put a dent in the wallet. However, as much as I adore Thai food, if I don’t get my occasional fix of good ol’ fashioned Yank food, I will go postal. I need meat. A slab of thick, blood-soaked, walking-on-all-fours-just-a-few-hours-ago carcass. And the fixings too: potatoes, slaw, soup, and if I’m in a generous mood, a few pieces of lettuce that we can call a “salad”. To paraphrase: you can take the boy out of America, but you can’t take America out of the boy.

When a work colleague of mine (an Oregonian, actually, and a person with whom I can talk endlessly about about Pac-10 football without driving him to suicide) mentioned to me that there was a rib place on Sukhumvit Road that served cornbread, I could barely contain my excitement. Sure, Thailand has your basic American staples: burgers, fried chicken, pizza, french fries, baked potatoes. But cornbread? My dear sweet Buddha, do I miss cornbread. Any thanks to my Oregonian friend, I got me some.

This past weekend, the wife and I paid an afternoon visit to the Great American Rib Company, located on Sukhumvit 36 (off of the Thonglor BTS station, about a 5-minute hike into the soi). The restaurant has a great outdoor atmosphere with a complete menu of BBQ and tex-mex dishes. As far as their ribs and BBQ chicken go, it’s a fine place to eat (the wife and I are still partial to the Tony Roma’s on Sukhumvit 5), but what really makes this place worth a repeat visit are their sides. The filet mignon chili is some of the best chili I’ve ever tasted, a mildly spicy concoction with choice cuts of beefsteak. A slightly larger bowl, and I could have filled up on the chili alone.

The standout attraction for me of course (and inspiration for this post’s title) was Chef Robb’s scrumptious, buttery, give-me-that-warm-tingly-feeling-all-over-my quivering-body jalapeno cornbread. I never had such a major hard-on for cornbread before, but then again: 1) I haven’t had it for half a decade, and as they say, “absence makes the heart (and stomach) grow fonder”, and 2) this really was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. I ate the two pieces that came with my soup, the two that came with my entree, and the two that my wife generously gave up when she saw the ravenous look in my eyes. Tasty stuff. Avoid the desserts, though, which are merely so-so; better to fill up on the entrees and sides.

Again, the outdoor seating makes for a really pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, and with the weather cooling off this time of year, it’s a great place to chow down and chug down on a Friday night. Any takers?

5 Comments so far

  1. lynn (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2004 @ 1:13 pm

    Mmmmm, cornbread. I haven’t had that for so long, I don’t even remember what the stuff tastes like anymore. Thanks for the heads-up… must definitely check out the Great American Rib Company!

  2. Ben Harris (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2004 @ 8:54 pm

    Is there something wrong with beef that I was never told or Thai people allergic to it? I miss my beef… and my KFC salt.

  3. him (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2004 @ 10:52 pm

    I don’t know what cornbread is. I feel like I’m missing something.

  4. FatMan Seoul (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2004 @ 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the lead. Noted.

  5. Dale (unregistered) on June 29th, 2005 @ 12:51 am

    If anyone goes by Great American Rib Company can you do me a favor and say hi to Robb for me (Dale)? I’m not even sure he’s still there, but if he is could you ask the notorious tech-shy Chef for a contact e-mail. Also, if it’s not too much trouble, pass along that Gigi graduated 5th grade and that Henry’s discovered Eric Clapton.
    Thanks and for anyone who can do this I’ll be happy to return the favor here in the San Francisco area .

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