I love finding little, non-chain restaurants with excellent, reasonably priced food. And I just found another one this week. It’s called Savory Thai, and it’s on 182 W Center Street in Orem, UT.
Oh, baby. If you decide to go, you are in for a treat. We ate there in celebration of my third daughter’s call to do missionary work in the middle and western Pennsylvania area (go Steelers, Amish, and “yous all”).
I learned to love Thai food because it’s so close to Indonesian food. And I learned to love that because I lived in the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands for five months and in Amersfoort, which is maybe an hour away, for seven. In Nijmegen, I lived in the attic of a row house with a series of missionary companions. In Amersfoort, I lived in a spare bedroom with another series of companions. Both homes were owned by Indonesian grandmothers who cooked one or two Indonesian meals a day for us. Think about that—home cooked Indonesian food every day. It was marvelous. When I came back to the States, Indonesian restaurants were few and far between, but to my delight I found that the Thai cuisine is very close, and so that became my stand in.
If you’ve never had Thai food, it’s kind of like Chinese, but it’s got curries, so it’s a little like Indian as well, but that doesn’t describe it either because it has its own separate taste that’s entirely wonderful.
This place is in a little strip of stores. It’s small enough that you could drive right past and never know it existed. But when you walk in, you’ll see that they know how to make a good first impression. It’s clean, smells good, and the host is friendly, but these guys go farther than that. You’ll notice, of all things, the menu cover. Instead of handing out some flimsy paper or laminated thing, they hand out these thick menus covered in what looks like some kind of leather. It gives a feel of permanence, of solidity, as if the restaurant has been there for years (it’s two months old). But of course we weren’t there for menus or friendly servers. We were there for the food. And we were not disappointed.
I can happily report that their green curry (spicy), pineapple curry, massaman curry (a lovely peanuty sauce), orange chicken, chicken cashew, fried rice, and pad Thai were all excellent. They use no MSG, cook it fresh, and keep it reasonably priced, $8-$10 per dish. I can promise you that we’ll be back.
If you’re in the area and want some great food, stop at Savory Thai.
I love almonds and have been for many years a big fan of the W?nderful brand bags of roasted and salted almonds you can find in Sam’s Club. However, this last week, I came across something new from Planters called their Almond Lover’s Medley, which is a blend of four different varieties of almonds, dry roasted and unsalted. It includes the Marcona, Nonpareil, Fritz, and Butte-padres, which is the variety used in the W?nderful bags. I can report that this mix from Planters is delicious. The differences in taste and texture between the varieties is subtle, but real. And I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them unsalted. If you love nuts, you’ll want to give this blend a try.
I did not want to watch a movie about climbing Mt. Everest. Everest? Were you kidding me? I couldn’t think of anything more boring, but this is what my daughters wanted, and it was Thanksgiving weekend, and so we watched Everest, the 2015 movie.
I am happy to report that it ended up being a great, disaster thriller, based on a true story, which was captured in the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I cared about the characters, was on pins and needles during great portions, and exclaimed out loud during a number of tense parts. And after all that sweating, the story made me think about the things we do and how to prioritize when life is on the line.
If you like stories about survival, you’ll love this. If you don’t, I still think there’s a good shot you’ll really enjoy it.
My wife is a sport. We were in the big city to watch a movie with our youngest daughter who is in high school. Our daughter, with her teenage brain, had the wild idea of a double-feature. My original man brain thought that sounded capital—how long had it been since we’d squandered five or six hours watching movies! The wise man brain didn’t think it was a very practical idea, and suggested it would be much better to do a double-feature next week we we could start at three in the afternoon. But the wise man brain was outnumbered and soon succumbed. And then all of the crazy brains ganged up on my wife, who graciously relented, and so we watch The Arrival and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and got home at like 1:30 am.
As for Fantastic Beasts, if you like Harry Potter stuff, you’ll love it. If you’re not mad for Harry Potter, it’s not going to rock your world (although you still might have a good time). Enough said.
What about The Arrival?
This is a movie about the arrival of aliens, but it’s not a shoot-em-up like Independence Day or War of the Worlds. It’s more like Contact, the one with Jodie Foster. It’s a film that makes you think and is for those who are willing to be a little patient. If you can slow down and just enjoy the film, I think you’ll end up loving it because it’s about far more than meeting mysterious creatures. It ends up being about the choices a woman makes about her family. If you go and give it the space it needs, I guarantee you’ll chat about it and savor it afterwards.
I won’t tell you anything more because you’ll only understand what’s going on in the woman’s life when you get to the last fourth of the movie, and I don’t want to spoil the delicious revelation for you. So just know that the alien tech and the alien themselves are strange and mysterious and cool, but that this movie is about so much more.
If you liked Contact or even Inception (sans the frustrating non-ending), you’ll love this.