Vegan MoFo #13: Ode To Mona.
Where I live, there aren’t a ton of vegan options when eating out. It’s much better here than in Tennessee though, I can go to Chipole or to the indian buffet, or a few other places. But my favorite place to go is a place called Thailand Cuisine.
Thailand is one of those places where you kind of wonder how they stay open because you will often be the only person eating dinner, and at the same time you’ll wonder what the hell is wrong with everyone that this place isn’t full all the time, because the food is awesome and the waitstaff is super friendly. The waitstaff is named Mona.
Mona is a petite older asian lady (before I knew her name I referred to her as ‘Teeny Asian Lady’). Besides her the only staff is the guy in the kitchen. Not only is Mona adorable, polite, and fast, she has a great memory. You only have to order the same thing twice before she will see you walk in and ask you if you want the same thing, and recite the dish to you. She always asks me how Brian is and how he’s doing in school. I want to snatch her and put her in my purse and take her home with me.
Earlier this year, I walked into Thailand one evening and Mona wasn’t there. I nearly shat myself! After a few Mona-less dinners, I prodded it out of one of her temporary replacements that she was sick and had been ordered by her doctor to not work for awhile. I was really worried that something was seriously wrong with her, and very happy when she started coming back to work. I felt kind of silly to feel that attachment to a lady who I know nothing about, but she adds such a personal touch to her job that it’s kind of hard not to.
So what do I get there? Usually, I get the vegetarian pad thai, no egg, with tofu. It’s a very comforting dish and hits that greasy food craving without making me feel gross or bloated. This isn’t the only place in town that has fish-free pad thai, but here i’m guaranteed that my order will not be screwed up. Sometimes I get swimming tofu, which is tofu and vegetables in a coconut peanut sauce. Fried tofu appetizer is always good, too. And it’s pretty cheap, I forgot my lunch at work last week and an order of the pad thai and fried tofu, plus tip, was $12. The plate below wasn’t even half of the food I got.