I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in San Luis Obispo, California.
Greetings from San Luis Obispo, California
N 35° 16.8764’ W 120° 39.63’ Elev. 210 feet
It amazes me how comforting peanut butter is. And versatile, too.
I love peanut butter cookies; cheese crackers and peanut butter; celery and peanut butter; hot chocolate and peanut butter sandwiches (a great combination!); and, even, fried eggs and peanut butter.
One Me So Hungry reader, Rose, memorably wrote that she, too, had a comfort food involving peanut butter: “Here’s something that I’ve eaten ever since I can recall; my mom does it: Hotdog with ketchup, mustard, onions and peanut butter. It sounds pretty disgusting, but it’s so yummy!” Now that’s versatility; I haven’t had the courage to try it.
I recently had lunch at an old haunt in this charming little city on California’s Central Coast. Thai Classic has been here for nearly 20 years, I think. And in all that time, with the notable exception of the closing/condemnation of its wonderful deck due to the supports being undermined by flooding of the adjoining San Luis Creek, it has changed very little. It still has great food, great staff, and one of the best bang-for-the-buck lunch specials around. All of the two dozen or so lunch specials are priced between $7.95-9.95 and come with a cup of soup, a small salad, white or brown rice, and a couple of fried wonton skins.
The soup is a simple vegetable affair in a thin, clear vegetable broth, with bok choy, bamboo shoot, carrot, green onion, and a hint of sweet basil. So simple yet incredibly flavorful. The salad is likewise a picture of simplicity: iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and shredded carrot with a drizzle of peanut sauce/dressing.
Just the soup and salad alone tend to send me into flights of ecstasy. But the thing that really sends me over the edge every time is my favorite entrée: Param Chicken. This simple yet exquisite dish consists only of chunks of chicken on a bed of raw spinach in peanut sauce. That’s it.
I don’t know what it is about Param Chicken that affects me so. Whenever I eat it it makes me feel like everything is right in the world. Indeed, I find myself thinking that if Param Chicken was fed to certifiably heartless curs like Dick “Darth” Cheney (R-Hades) or mean-spirited human-terrapin mutants like U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), they could be miraculously endowed with a hint of humanity. That’s impossible, I know, but it’s a nice thought nonetheless.
And so we roll.
Thai Classic, 1011 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo, California
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.