Meal Number: 2

Selection: Him Ma Parn with Pineapple

Price: $9 for vegetarian or tofu/$10 for chicken, pork or beef/$12 for shrimp/$13 for seafood

It's time for meal number 2. The menu description for this is:

Cashew Nuts Stir-Fry, sauteed in sweet chili paste, onions, bell paper, water chestnuts, cashews, carrots, pineapple and green beans

It sounds nummy, and it's very popular (in fact, I think it's the best seller after Pad Thai) but I didn't pick it. I took my life into my own hands. I told the chef to surprise me during a dinner with my roommates who came to the restaurant and this is what she made me.

Again the portion size was fantastic, and it was served over a pile of perfectly cooked rice noodles (it's usually served over rice, but rice and I aren't friends, and the chef remembered, which is sweet), topped with veggies and chicken in a sauce.

The sauce wasn't spicy at all, it was very mild and sweet, and it complemented the veggies and pineapple perfectly. I know some people find cooked fruit, or just cooked pineapple to be a turn-off, but combined with the veggies and stir-fried nuts it was very well matched.

Again my veggies were cooked just how I like them, and the chicken wasn't completely lost in the flavor of the sauce.

I enjoyed this dish and I'd recommend it for anyone looking for an alternative to normal cashew chicken from a Chinese restaurant.


As some of you Figments may know, 'Skyte Design, on occasion, takes up miscellaneous work for local small businesses that extend beyond just web design. Computer maintenance, logo design, ad design, computer networking, grant writing, I even dog-sat once. Why? Because I heart my clients with every gooshy ounce of my ventricles, and I want to provide good service for them. Thanks to these non-traditional web design requests, I find myself packing with me a deck of very strange skills. Need me to set you up with a local alcohol distributor? I can do that. Need some Dora the Explorer napkins on the cheap? For 200? I can do that too, with adequate sympathy.

Do these skills help me in real life? No. Do they look good on a resume? Absolutely not. But they pay, and lets face it boys and girls, I just wouldn't be nearly as witty if I was homeless.

So about two weeks ago I took up a position that I've dubbed Bookkeeper Interim of Awesomeness (Or BIA) at a local restaurant in Keizer called The Red Ginger. My job is to catch the restaurant up on it's bookkeeping since a reshuffling of ownership and to get their accounting system up and running so it's organized and efficient for them. Yeah, I laughed at first at the idea of me organizing something, but I'm fairly certain I can figure it out.

The Red Ginger opened about a year ago, and reopened (a long story) again about six months ago. They have fantastic food at very reasonable prices, and the atmosphere and service is amazing. Their food is organic, and nearly 75% of the ingredients are from local farms. No MSG, low sodium and they are vegan, vegetarian and gluten allergy/sensitivity and Celiac accommodating. The last is important to me, as Prana has celiac disease and I think it's completely awesome that they are aware of it and try to make food that their customers can enjoy again and again.

The chef there has a nearly psychotic need to feed everyone, all the time, constantly, with no end. Don't get me wrong, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside that someone want to make sure I eat sixteen meals a day, but a girl can only eat so much before her intestines rupture.

Every day I go, every day she wants to feed me. I feel horribly guilty if I say no, so I have her make me small stuff. That however, didn't work long, because she decided the small stuff wasn't enough, and started making me more, and bringing it to me herself to the office demanding I eat. How do you say no to that? You can't, that's how.

So, I decided to use this to my advantage. I decided that I would try everything on their menu, and then review the dishes. I've never eaten anything bad there (and that's saying a lot, because...well, I've probably eaten the equivalent to an elephant in weight worth of food from that place). The cook thinks it's hilarious, but I think she's laughing at the fact that I've gained a thousand pounds in two weeks, rather then that I'm blogging about her food.

Meal Number: 1

Selection: Pra Ram Peanut with Shrimp

Price: $9 for vegetarian or tofu/$10 for chicken, pork or beef/$11 for shrimp/$13 for seafood

So in doing the bookkeeping I've been entering in the daily sales of the restaurant, which catalogs the percentages of items sold. This dish has sold quite a bit, and is very popular with the Regulars that frequent the restaurant. I decided to give it a shot, the menu says:

Grilled meat stir-fried with veggies and topped with a homemade peanut sauce

I am a sucker for Red Gingers peanut sauce, it is fantastic, and I would swim in it, if I could. I see this dish mostly with chicken, but I had a hankering for shrimp so I got it with the shrimp instead.

The plate presentation was great, lots of fresh veggies which included green beans, snow peas, carrots, green and yellow pepper, broccoli, bok choy, onion, celery, baby corn and water chestnuts. There was also some fresh basil leaves stir fried with the veggies. Topping them was a good portion of shrimp and the yummy peanut sauce.

The veggies were cooked perfectly, they weren't limp or soggy and they weren't charred, which made me a happy girl. Shrimp were also cooked perfectly and weren't like chewing on a balloon when you ate them.

You can get rice to go with this dish, but I dislike rice (sorry rice lovers) so I didn't have any. That was fine though, because I was so stuffed I wouldn't have been able to eat the rice anyway.

Very delicious and I can see why people order it so consistently. The price is also reasonable. It's not as inexpensive as eating at some other Thai restaurants in town, but the quality and ambiance of the restaurant and food are worth the extra dollar or so and change.

Give it a go! Up next? Him Ma Parn.