The rich spiciness and variety of Thai food is an exciting dining option that is close at hand and ready to enjoy.
Tepetate Pian Thai restaurant, on Hildago, just a block west of Ajijic’s main plaza, is a cozy eatery with seating on both the first floor and the open balcony upstairs with pleasant neighborhood views. A reservation is a good idea, especially for upstairs as this can be a popular place.
Chef and owner, Khun Pian, is Bangkok-trained and he has backed up the ample menu choices with customized dishes cooked however you want. This is an ideal venue for small groups to share appetizers, soups and maybe an assortment of main courses. Two people can easily share one order of soup, we have found.
We started our culinary trip to Bangkok by ordering Poh Pia Mood, a crispy roll filled with ground pork and vegetables, and coconut shrimp deep fried and flavored with dry coconut and served in a delicious sauce. Wonderful soups included Tom Yum Goong, a shrimp soup with lemon grass, mushrooms, lime juice and chillies, topped with cilantro, and Tom Kha Gai, a coconut soup with chicken and the same ingredients.
There are five curry dishes to choose from and the red curry is particularly delicious with shrimp, mushrooms, eggplant, red pepper, bamboo and basil. Most people think of curry as being hot, but it actually refers to the sauce it is served in, and need not scorch the tongue!
Under the Wok category, we ordered and shared a classic Pad Thai with stir-fried rice noodles, tamarind sauce, mixed vegetables with chicken. Chef Pian will gladly let you substitute beef, pork or shrimp instead of the usual chicken.
Our other main courses were salmon lemon grass, a delightful combination of steamed salmon with lemon grass, chili, garlic, ginger and lemon sauce, and Gai Sam Rod, crispy chicken with mango sauce. Both of these dishes were priced at 150 pesos. All of the main courses are served with fragrant and tender rice, which soaks up the sauces, adding wonderful flavors to the rice itself.
Tepetate Pian also has four salads on its menu consisting of chicken or beef with vegetables. It is so hard to decide what to eat with 30 main courses to choose from. If you still want more to eat, mango and sticky rice is a good choice for dessert. This restaurant has been in its present location a couple of years, and is open Monday to Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. All and all, our trip to Bangkok was eventful and very worthwhile.
Tepetate Pian Thai Restaurant, Calle Hildago 31, (376) 766-2020.