Tampa is full of surprises and today I discovered a new one.
Actually, Kristin discovered it. I just went along for the ride. 😉
Welcome to Wat Temple – Tampa’s very own Thai Temple.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
Kristin’s Mom had turned her onto the Thai temple a while ago. Rumor had it that they had a killer Sunday market and we were both feeling adventurous enough to find out.
The Sunday Market was an outdoor market that wrapped around the adjoining building to the temple. There were about a dozen vendors in attendance selling delicious – and sometimes interesting – Thai delicacies.
You want weird food? Well, they had it – everything from interesting Thai desserts to various versions of custards, noodle bowls, sticky rice, and exotic fruit drinks.
Kristin and I made a lap before deciding to grab a smorgasbord of food to share.
What really caught our attention was the custards. I’ve never seen custard prepared quite like this before.
It didn’t take us long to fill our bags with food. We grabbed some utensils and headed to some shade before diving into our goodies.
Our eyes may have been a little bigger than our stomachs, but there was just so much we wanted to try!
First up, we sampled the veggie pad thai. It was really greasy and what I would assumed would be the closest to authentic pad thai that I’ve tried. Is it bad I kind of prefer the more Americanized version?
The coconut custards were a little out of my element, but – when in Rome? right? I had a few and they weren’t bad. Sweet with a tiny salty aftertaste. I’m not sure I could take more than one or two at a time. Definitely more of a side item than a whole meal.
The sesame balls were my pick. I have a fondness for sweet sesame balls.
Tough fried exterior and a sweet, crumbly interior.
And my favorite – vegetable spring rolls.
It’s hard to go wrong with spring rolls. As long as they’re fresh and you have a peanut dip – you’re golden.
And then there was the coconut balls – our most adventurous try of the day.
I’m not a big fan of Asian sweets and cakes. I’ve pretty much given up on them after a Chinatown Food Tour that left me gagging the majority of the time. Still, I’m not one to try something just because I assume I won’t like it. It’s all about the experience, right?
Here goes nothing!
Quite possibly the grossest thing I’ve ever forced myself to swallow. The slimy outside and stringy inside was a combo that left me gagging. Definitely a texture thing and definitely not something I see myself trying again any time soon.
BUT, I can say that I tried it. 🙂
Overall the Thai Temple was a blast. It’s a place I want to bring my Dad too next time he’s in town because he would definitely get a kick out of it. My only concern was the HEAT and the fact that it’s an outdoor market. I would love to come back in the late fall and try one of the amazing looking noodle bowls when it’s a little cooler out. 🙂
I brought my leftover home to Derek (where he referred to the spring rolls as a condom covered ___) and then headed back out for soft serve ice cream.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve been really craving old fashion soft serve ice cream lately. We tried to find a place to get some after the baseball game last night, but everything was closed. Luckily, Bo’s was open today and I was able to order a small dipped cone.
Oh, yeah. Just what the doctor ordered!
We’re heading out to dinner now to dine with Derek’s parents for Father’s Day. If I can’t be with my own father on Father’s Day – at least I have a back up now. 🙂
Happy Father’s Day Steve!