The Dish

Thai Princess crowned curry king

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At my job, my coworkers and I will often pass the time asking questions like “Would you rather be constantly chased by a very slow wolf or have to shower every day with a moody badger?” and “If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” While I won’t delve into all the nuances of deciding the former, I think the latter is relevant here.  

When working out this hypothetical, you’re ultimately looking for variety within the cuisine of choice and how long it would take before it grows tiresome. Though I would have picked Middle Eastern in the past, if asked after my recent meal from Thai Princess in Okemos, I would answer “Thai food” with confidence.  

Thai Princess has long been a favorite of mine, especially for the freshness of their always-crisp, never-mushy vegetables. They offer a large variety of stir-fries, curries and fried rice on their lunch specials menu. As it was snowing aggressively outside, I ultimately went with the comforting, stick-to-your-ribs massaman curry with chicken (other protein choices available). 

A yellow curry that fuses Thai and Indian styles, massaman curry is rich with coconut milk, toasty with peanuts and seasonally appropriate with flavors of cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Sour, tangy tamarind and spicy chili lend balance, and the large hunks of potato, steeped in the luxurious sauce, lend a comforting heft alongside the generous side of steamed white rice. It leaves the tongue tingling, the belly full and the bones warmed.  

The best thing about lunch specials is the extras, especially when you don’t read the menu carefully and aren’t sure exactly what you’ll get. Much to my delight, these bonus lunch treats turned out to be a cup of tom yum soup, filled with tasty mushrooms and bursting with electric flavor, and a small green salad drizzled with an equally zingy dressing. The veritable kaleidoscope of colors, textures and tastes offered by this meal jolted me, however momentarily, from my newly-onset seasonal depression and reminded me that there are always additions to be made to the list of ways to survive a Michigan winter.  

I look forward to eating my leftovers today as the snow accumulates, clutching the bowl protectively to my chest to fend off my heat-seeking pets, wondering how slow this wolf would actually be. 

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