Okay, back in the saddle! While there may be another Moroccan post to come (when I have the time!), it is time to get back to some delicious south Austin food!
This past Saturday night, I ate at Madam Mam's (the south location, duh!). We were starving when we arrived, and completely stuffed when we left! As we began looking over the menu, I saw on their specials list an appetizer I have only been able to find at a Thai place in Las Cruces, NM (yes, odd location, but Lemongrass is as good of a Thai restaurant that I've had in any big city). There they call it "Leaf-wrapped Savories." I call it delicious! Anyway, I've NEVER seen it at any other place before, and there it was! Mam's calls it "Mieng Kum" (or #A9 on the specials menu), and it's romaine lettuce ribs with a fabulous mixture of little chopped things (dried baby shrimp, toasted coconut, kafir lime, peanut, ginger, chile,& shallot on top of it) and a sweet & sour tamarind sauce to drizzle over. For those of us who love the sweet & savory combination of foods, this rocked! They're messy to eat, because you're holding a piece of lettuce, trying not to let all the goodies fall out, and also trying not to let the sticky sauce drip down your hand. Messy but totally gratifying!
Next up was #P11, their incredible Tom Kha soup,which is about the best Tom Kha I've ever had. Their coconut milk broth is so flavorful... it's got a ton of stuff in it too. We chose chicken (over tofu or shrimp), and pieces of lemongrass, galangal, chiles, mushrooms, cilantro...which can all be spooned over some jasmine rice. Mmmm. It clears any stuffed sinus passages, and really just leaves you warm all over! (Great for the colder weather that may be coming into town!) Our last dish was #F11 "Guay Teaw Kua Gai" or flat rice noodles with sauteed pork, bean sprouts, and another lovely sweet and tangy sauce. This was definitely the best noodle dish I've had at Mam's. Maybe it was the wider rice noodles or just the melding of the pork with the sauce, but I'd certainly get it again.
It's been a long time since I've had it, but I have found their Pad Thai to be a disappointment, and I often use that dish as a standard to judge the restaurant when trying a new Thai place. Mam's tends to be hit (green papaya salad, amazing green beans, everything we had above) or miss (all the other noodle dishes, satay) so it's just a matter of being able to get the good stuff. We practically licked our plates till we were completely saturated, and I still wanted more!