Pestle Rock

by Steven Behling

Remember that Hot Cakes post from a couple weeks back?  Well, before we drowned our post-marathon sorrows in molten chocolate cake, my friend Brett and I limped (ok, I was the only one limping) over to Pestle Rock in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  Brett spent two years in Thailand providing community service and teaching religious principles to those who were interested in learning more about Mormonism.  Naturally, I wanted to find a place where he could experience some of the flavors of "home" that might be tougher to find in a more mainstream (i.e., Americanized) restaurant.  

On the first pass of the menu, Brett selected the neua nam tok (Thai for "waterfall"), composed of certified Piedmontese (an Italian breed of cattle) tender petite beef marinated in tamarind, tart lime juice, fish sauce, and chili powder, grilled with red onion and toasted rice powder.  This incredibly flavorful, protein-packed dish was served over a fresh salad of greens, cilantro, and mint, making for a very fresh start to the evening.  See below for my efforts at obtaining clarification regarding which nam tok we ordered that night:


"THEY HAVE KHAO SOI!" exclaimed Brett upon further examination of the menu.  He went on to explain that this was one of, if not his favorite dish from his time in Thailand, and that he'd never seen it on a menu since his return to the U.S. over a decade ago.  Brett then reminded me of that one time where he invited me over to his house many Decembers ago so we could "cook something Thai," and how I politely ate the entire bowl even though he and his wife, Janeen, refused to consume any more after their first bite.  "We were trying to make khao soi that night," he assures me.  Well, I can't remember what we ate that cold winter's night, but let me tell you something...I'll remember this khao soi.  Typically served in Northern Thailand, this creamy coconut curry dish includes both soft and deep fried egg noodles, tender chicken, pickled mustard greens, sliced red and green onions, and cilantro.  Whoa.  Brett and Janeen, let's try again next December.  I'm suddenly feeling more confident.


Later that evening, after our tasty Thai and molten Hot Cakes, Brett expressed his commitment to return next year for the 2015 Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Only he knows whether he's doing it for friendship or food.  Hey, why can't it be both?

Pestle Rock is located at 2305 NW Market Street in Seattle, Washington.