Monday, January 20, 2014

Tampa Bay Eats: Thai Market at Wat Mongkolratanaram Temple

Melinda's aunt found a really fun place to do breakfast on Sunday, a market at a Thai Buddhist Temple in Tampa...certainly not what I expected, but such a great idea!

We wandered through the market, and made our way to the flower stand - full of gorgeous orchids!

Eating breakfast under the spanish moss.

Doling out rice.

The famous coconut custards!  They tasted like fried coconut rice pudding, and due to the time-intensive preparation, they had a system where you paid for a box and put your name on it, the women behind the counter estimate the time it will take (mine was 60 minutes!) and you come back at that point to your box full of custards!  Certainly an honor system approach, but absolutely worth it!  Warm, gooey, a perfect dessert.

(the other dessert I tried was topped with savory fried onions and decidedly not my favorite).

They have a three step method...pour batter in to coat the sides, let it set, and then fill the middle with additional batter (making the outside even more cooked than the center).  Finally, they put one half on top of another, and they bond together, giving you a sphere of coconut goodness.  
I found a recipe online here, it looks like you can make them with pancake puff/ebelskiver pans! 

View from the pier!

The temple.

All in all, it was definitely a fun place to go!  A few tips:

--make sure to stop for dessert first on the way in, it's all premade and you can get it packaged up...but what they have is all they have, so watch out or you will have sad onion breath like I did.
--it takes about 40 minutes for the pho line, so be patient.  
--the line for rice + curry was much shorter, and they have pad thai there as well.
--their Thai iced tea was delicious
--buy some fried bananas to share, they have a lovely sweet fried crust, dotted with sesame seeds. 

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