Hungry and you have $2? Go to Tesco!

in dining •  16 days ago

Almost every medium size city in Thailand has a Tesco Lotus in it. For the USA peeps Tesco is basically a Wal-Mart but normally they incorporate some element of a minor shopping mall into it, at least that is the case in every one of the ones I have been to in Thailand. Each of them tend to have a food court in them too with a wide variety of "street food" vendors where you can get some pretty good food for cheap.

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They aren't terribly accommodating as far as the English language is concerned as this particular one had almost no English description or names of the dishes at all. They do however have examples pictures and some of them even have display units that have been glazed over with some sort of chemical to preserve them (or they might be wax, i have no idea but it gets the job done as far as knowing what they sell there.)

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Keeping in mind that $2 is around 66 Baht, you can see that at this particular stall you can order anything on the menu with your pocket money. Some people fear that because this is in Tesco that it isn't going to have the same appeal as authentic street food. I disagree. As far as I can tell the process and the delivery is exactly the same as the stuff you get outside or in a market. I think I actually prefer the Tesco experience because you also get free chilled drinking water and the conditions are far more sanitary.

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you can even dip your cutlery in a near boiling water to kill any bacteria that might be on your spoon

I also tend to enjoy the air conditioning and the lack of flies / mosquitoes. Now I am not suggesting that anyone should avoid street food. That is one of the major aspects of adventure in this country after all. If the heat is too much for you and you also want to be able to sample a wide array of "typical" Thai meals, this experience is only as far away as your nearest Tesco Lotus.

I have one of these places quite near my house and I visit it at least 2 or 3 times a week. I get a real sense of satisfaction from charging up the meal card with 100 Baht (almost exactly $3) and being able to eat here twice

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There are no tricks here: The meats are on display and you can watch the person preparing it if you want to. I find the whole experience to be quite nice. It is just an added bonus that after you eat, you are already in a shopping mall and if you need a few bits for the house it just adds another aspect of convenience.

I would never have thought to go to Tesco in order to sample many of Thailand's foods but remember how I said you can always tell if a restaurant is good by whether or not Thai people are eating there? Well, Tescos all over this country are frequented by exactly that demographic.

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Good place to drop by if you are in a tight budget.

I can't believe you can even top up your card and make it cheaper. Sounds brilliant and definitely a must visit in the future. Very true follow where the locals eat and you wont go wrong.

Wow, that is pretty impressive. Our Wal-mart just has a Subway in it :) They do have a deli counter that heats up some killer boneless chicken wings though. The second item from the left on the top row looks interesting to me. What was it?