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What's Cookin'

Anyone who TiVo’s the Food Network or is at least an avid viewer knows all about what great lengths the hosts and producers go to in order for Anthony Bourdain to get 30 minutes of Ummm’s and Ohh Yeahh’s or 2 of Guy Fieri’s That’s “Money baby’s”. It’s hard work, they spend months on a dozen 41 minute episodes after spending tens of thousands to get it.
Nevertheless it’s cool. I love almost all the shows (ixnay achelray ayray) and look forward to new ones. I especially like the shows filmed in American restaurants. I watch all the shows on China, Vietnam, Russia and so forth but I can really relate to the food on the U.S. shows.

I think Guy could find a dig around here that can rival his next episode if he only knew where to look. Actually there are several if not dozens of worthy Eastside businesses. The newest one is The Foreign Exchange on Beechmont (7991 Beechmont Ave. next to Huff).
For one thing, it’s your quintessential family business, several generations of cousins, aunts, uncles and elders working together to do what they know best... make Mom’s Thai food. Mamma Michaud is originally from Thailand, she married an American and moved to Anderson in the 70’s. Now the Anderson family own and operate the Foreign Exchange. This is the second Thai restaurant they have had so far, the first you may have heard of already... Teak Thai in Mt. Adams. It’s an institution.

The family swears you won’t find better even in Thailand. Judging by the spread on the sushi bar I believe it. My appetite was for a plate of that famous Thai dish Pad Thai. To me it’s like what Lo Mein is to Chinese (I judge a Chinese restaurant by their Lo Mein so I see no reason not to judge Thai places by their Pad Thai).
Mamma herself flash fried my Pad Thai and plated it up as well. Tender noodles and chicken flash fried with a surprisingly sweet sauce, I ordered #5 on the hot scale and looking back I could have went for an 8 easily. Crisp wisps of onion, carrot and bean sprouts with an occasional crushed peanut carried the flavors of the spice against the sweet noodles. Flawless. It reminded me how long it’s been since my last Pad Thai. Too long.
There’s so much more on the menu you’ll have to read it online. Fresh sushi, noodles, rice dishes, more seafood, and even burgers. It’s expansive. I’d like to talk more on the fresh seafood at the sushi bar again but the photos do it more justice. Everything’s made from basic fresh ingredients and that makes all the difference. If you thought you knew all about the Asian Anderson had to offer, now you know better. Now if only Guy knew about it too.




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