There was a time when life was hard in Mil-town. To get a bite of quality Thai food, you had to drive 90 miles to Chicago’s loop and pay the equivalent of half the value of a viola lesson to park. Those lachrymose days are over. Instead, head over to The Mekong Cafe on 60th and North. Damned tasty and you even save on tolls. Here is their Ban Xeo; a sublime concoction of ground and curried chicken and shrimp wrapped in a delicate rice-flour casing. It looks a bit like a blintz in technicolor, but the taste is revelatory rather than comforting.
One of my table companions proclaimed the dish to be one of the best starters available in a Milwaukee restaurant. He should know; he is a scholar of many different culinary traditions. His latest passion is making Kimchi. Anyone who has the patience and smarts to do that has my ear. But do I really need his stamp of approval?
I don’t make Kimchi but I do play the viola.
That must count for something.