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Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska?

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

In the 1980s, a hundred or so Thais made a vacation all the way to Alaska to work in the gold mines, and a few stayed. Of those few, a handful decided that gold mining wasn’t for them, but what else could they do? They could cook Thai food. So, one guy opened a restaurant, and it did well. So, another guy did. Before long, there were small but established Thai communities in Anchorage and Fairbanks, which meant that despite the cold Alaska became an attractive place for more Thais to go. And what could they do in Alaska? Cook more Thai food.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

As an Alaskan who eats out on occasion, I like Thai food. I like Curry and Pad Thai, and I also like BBQ and gumbo and burgers.

When I vote with my dollars I end up voting for a pho place I really like, or a couple of local Burger places. I really like a local fried chicken place in Anchorage. There are a couple of other places that I go to, but only a little.

There are a lot of Thai food places because of me and people like me who will eat there.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska?

The food trucks? Thai whatever. Are not just good for the economy. They are way more convenient than the drive-thrus. In the ancient times? The mid-90s? I was sick of McDonald’s. And all the other large chains. In Portland. I visited a food court stand. I ate this “crazy” thing called a gyro. And it was fantastic. I don’t know much about Thai food. Ate it a couple of times from Thai restaurants. And depending on the restaurant? Not always my favorite. And I have never eaten pho. But that’s irrelevant. Food trucks are wise investments. If they have quality products, they save on the price of a costly space. Simple economy 101? You have a great product. And you have an outlet where food is prepared and delivered in minutes. No gasoline was spent. No delivery person. And if you have a good product? Repeat customers. All in a matter of minutes. The consumer has an excellent opportunity for food. Close to the workplace.

Which fast food chain in Alaska makes the best Mexican food (e.g. nachos, tacos, burritos)?

Taco Kind and Burrito King both make excellent Mexican fast food and are located in Anchorage. I would look around Anchorage, as the food scene is constantly changing. Also, check out The Burrito Factory for good Mexican on the go. Additionally, there are a lot of Mexican sit-down restaurants in Anchorage—-you can take your pick, really— Mexican food comes out pretty quickly at most Mexican restaurants that I’ve been to in Anchorage.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants but very, very few Indonesian restaurants?

The existence of a nation’s restaurant abroad is naturally powered by its diaspora, e.g., people from that nation who live in the destined country. Chinese restaurant in the US is an excellent example of this, and Indian restaurants in the UK as well. Both have a significant amount of immigrants that live in their country.

Thailand and South Korea, on the other hand, follow a different path, which is Food Diplomacy, in which they positioned culinary as part of their long-term economic strategy. They figured that food (and culture) is an excellent way to boost your economy, both directly in the form of export goods or indirectly, as it attracts people to experience more of their culture, i.e., tourism.

Indonesia, in this case, has no significant size of diaspora abroad, except perhaps in Malaysia and the Middle East through domestic and factory workers programs (TKI), or in The Netherlands due to past political ties.

Until recently, Indonesia also had no Food Diplomacy in place. Minister Mari Elka Pangestu of Kemenparekraf initiated the initiative of establishing “30 Ikon Kuliner Tradisional Indonesia (IKTI)” at the end of 2012


 , followed by international training and exhibitions that centered around this initiative, then followed by initiatives from Minister Arief Yahya of Kemenpar in that path, like establishing co-branding of 100 Indonesian Diaspora restaurants


, among others. With the upcoming election, there will be a 50:50 chance that Indonesian Gastronomy Diplomacy will continue to speed up, and we see more and more Indonesian restaurants opened aboard, or the plan will go back to the icebox.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Why are there so many Thai restaurants so close to each other?

. First off, I’m assuming you are talking about Thai food restaurants outside of Thailand. I have found that when visiting different types of Asian food restaurants in the US, you will find they are in areas where a lot of Asian people live. I used to live outside of Atlanta, GA. There was an old shopping center with a substantial Asian supermarket. The majority of the other stores were restaurants. Of those restaurants, there were about 8 Vietnamese food restaurants, one Chinese food, and one Dim Sum restaurant. This area was also populated with a large Vietnamese community. I’ve seen the same thing happen in areas with a lot of Thai food restaurants close together. I think initially, these restaurants were not open to serve the typical American Thai food. More to give the local Thai community some choices to eat their food. Having been in Thailand for almost six years, I do know Thai food pretty well. There are a few different regional types of Thai food. Not all Thais eat the same foods. Basically, there are three areas known for different styles of Thai food.

Northeast Thailand, or Isan, is a prevalent example. Southern Thailand has its style also. They say that Bangkok and the immediate surrounding area have their style, although I have yet to see this. One last type I know of is the Northwest of Thailand. Chang Mai area. If you go to a Thai food restaurant in the US that is aimed at non-Thai customers, many of the foods will be the same. These types of restaurants need to be more exciting for me. I learned to eat some things I never thought I would have before living here. Do yourself a favor and eat outside your comfort zone when it comes to Thai food. You might end up loving it even more.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Why is Thai food more popular internationally than Indonesian food?

There are a few reasons why Thai food is more popular internationally than Indonesian food.

  • History: Thailand has a long history of welcoming travelers from all over the world, dating back to the days of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya. This exposure to different cultures has helped to shape Thai cuisine, making it more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. Indonesia, on the other hand, has been more isolated from the rest of the world, and its cuisine has had less exposure to foreign influences.
  • Flavor: Thai food is known for its bold and aromatic flavors, which are often described as being “spicy” and “refreshing.” These flavors appeal to a wide range of palates, and they have helped to make Thai food a popular choice for international diners. Indonesian food, on the other hand, is often described as being more “mild” and “earthy.” While these flavors are also appealing to many people, Thai food may be less universally appealing than they are.
  • Availability: Thai food is more widely available internationally than Indonesian food. There are Thai restaurants in most major cities around the world, and Thai ingredients are also relatively easy to find in grocery stores. Indonesian food, on the other hand, is more widely available in Indonesia. This lack of availability may make Indonesian food less accessible to international diners.
  • Marketing: Thai food has been marketed more aggressively internationally than Indonesian food. Thai restaurants and food companies have invested heavily in marketing their products overseas, and this has helped to raise awareness of Thai cuisine. Indonesian food, on the other hand, has yet to be marketed as aggressively internationally. This lack of marketing contributed to Indonesian food being less well-known outside of Indonesia.

In conclusion, there are a number of reasons why Thai food is more popular internationally than Indonesian food. These reasons include history, flavor, availability, and marketing.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Is Indonesian food like Thai food?

It might not be fair for me to answer this question. As a native, I can easily distinguish the dishes, so I must say they are not alike. However, despite how Western cuisine is different in each region, I can’t tell the differences (like between pizzas from all countries across Europe)

For me, Indonesian food usually uses more spices. The smell is more potent than Thai food. In Thai food, you will rarely see cinnamon, clove, or star anise. Their smell is powerful even though I avoid them myself, while Thai food uses more smell from herbs than spices. Also, Thai food is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine. This is the reason that Thai food is light, sweet, and sour compared to other countries in SEA.

One difference to note is that most Indonesians are Muslim, so they don’t have pork dishes, while most Thais are Buddhist.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Is Thai food more spicy than Indonesian food?

The spiciest food I have ever tasted was actually Thai food: the Som Tam (thanks, Jos Buurman, for the proper name) or the papaya/mango salad.

Funny trip, that. My friends and I were lost in Hong Kong. We missed our stop because the bus needed an announcement about where we were. 15 minutes in, we were at another island. We tried to get off the bus and take the bus in the opposite direction. But we made another mistake; we stopped at a one-way street. We ended up just walking around a residential area and got hungry. We randomly went to the first restaurant we came across, which was a Thai restaurant. The owner/cook was excellent, but she was actually Thai and could only speak broken English or Thai.

My friends have been to Thailand before and know some foods that they like. I was feeling more adventurous and ordered something they hadn’t tasted before: the salad. How can it go wrong??

I ordered it nonspicy. The lady who made it said, “OK, I’ll make a little spicy.” it should be spicy food, or it would be wrong or something. Three spoonfuls later, I was crying. My friends laughed, and the lady came out of the kitchen all worried. She said it’s really not spicy. I was traveling with friends who are very accustomed to flaming hot spice, and they, too, were in pain when they tried eating the “not spicy” salad. It was damn good but crazy spicy.

A few years later, I went to another Thai restaurant in Scheveningen, the Netherlands. It’s just a random find, too. I then ordered the same thing, also in medium spiciness, thinking it wouldn’t be that tear-jerking since most Dutch can’t even handle pickled habanero. I. Was. Wrong. I was a spectacle on the beach. The only person on the whole beach who was crying. In comparison, continuing to eat a pile of shredded things in clear red soup.

Don’t underestimate me yet. Indonesia has this creation called the ‘bon cabe,’ dried chili flakes with salt. They have level 1, 5, 10, 15, 30. I can handle eating hot rice with level 30 bon cabe without crying. With that track record, I, at this moment, bestow Thai food to be spicier than Indonesian food.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

What are examples of Thai food?

Thai cuisine: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy, spicy, spicy! The curious thing is, despite the contrasting flavors, Thai food is delicious.

They have a clever and inventive way of balancing all five flavors – spicy doesn’t overwhelm; sour is appetizing; sweetness in check, salty takes a backseat – and rice, beautiful, fragrant Thai rice, offers the perfect balance to all the tempting dishes.

Pad Krapow Moo Saap (Fried Basil and Pork)

A trendy ‘one plate meal,’ Fried Basil and Pork with a fried egg is a complete meal on its own – protein, a bit of green, and carbs. Lots of basil leaves, fresh chili, minced pork, green beans, soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar.

Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Green Chicken Curry)

Chunks of chicken, tiny eggplants, tender bamboo shoots, coriander, and basil are the mains of this uniquely Thai dish. Green curry paste is stirred into hot creamy coconut milk to get that lush color.

Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)

Want a taste of excitement? Yam Nua offers a fiery thrill – with its vibrant mix of onion, coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili, and tender strips of beef.

Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Prawn Soup)

Sour, hot, and spicy – quintessential Thai aromas infuse this iconic soup concoction, made with a host of herbs and spices. Succulent prawns and straw mushrooms lend meat, while rice itself is absolute bliss for this spicy soup.

Gai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)

This reminds me of a sweet and sour dish. In this case, it has gone up another notch. A Chinese-influenced stir fry that pits contrasting flavors and textures in typical Thai style. It works wonderfully well. It is a simple but delicious dish that has become a Thai classic.

Pad Thai stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, vegetables, and tofu in a flavourful sauce of tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, garlic, red chili pepper, and sugar. Enough said.

Gai Hor Bai Toey (Thai Pandan-Wrapped Chicken)

The fragrant aroma of Pandan leaves wrapped around chunks of coconut milk, marinated chicken steamed, and finally deep-fried. This sweet-savory Thai creation is a sheer delight as you savor the juiciness of the flavourful meat imbued with a nutty flavor.

There are so many exciting dishes to discover. Enjoy the journey!

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

How profitable are food trucks?

It really depends on which year of operation you’re talking about.

Let’s pretend that you’re not talking about year one of ownership because I promise you that you will lose money in your first year. Our original business plan called for a profit in the first year, and six different lenders basically laughed in our faces.

We adjusted the numbers to show a loss in year one and wound up getting a micro-loan through the SBA. It turned out the six lenders who laughed in our faces were right because I wound up reporting the most significant loss I’ve ever reported on my taxes in year 1.

Our company is now closing out year 2 of operation at a small profit of 1.7%. However, the profit of the company doesn’t represent how much you would take home as an owner/operator.

If you work harder and more hours than you’ve ever worked in your life, you can take home about 15% to 20% of the total sales for the year.

I’m told that high-end food trucks operating in the Utopian climates of southern California will bring in up to $250k per year. We, on the other hand, are operating out of Cleveland and will be coming in just shy of $200k in our second year. We would have been well over the $200k mark, but we had to refuse almost $30k in sales due to the truck being double booked or the staff/owner-operator needing to be more energized.

We’re in the process of expanding our staff so we can support multiple shifts in year 3 to meet the customer demand.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

What is the worst restaurant in Alaska?

What is the worst restaurant in Anchorage?

My family and I recently had a poor experience at Chili’s, which was not addressed by their leadership—we chose not to dine there any longer. The service basically treated us like chopped liver, and the manager was nowhere to be found. When the food tastes canned and the service is terrible, it’s easy to say goodbye to Chili’s in the Dimond Mall.

What is the most unusual restaurant in Alaska?

The Turtle Club restaurant near Fairbanks. It’s actually located in Fox, a rural area about 10 miles out of Fairbanks. The 1st time I went there, it struck me as unusual as it was seemingly out in the middle of nowhere, but it was so busy reservations were required. The prime rib is second to none! As a carnivore who consumes healthy portions of red meat, I was not disappointed. It’s unusual to me in that the location is out of the way rather than being in town.

How does American Thai food differ from Thai food from Thailand?

TL;DR 1. The spice level tends to be toned down unless the person ordering is Thai or speaks Thai like a native. 2. Ingredient substitutions are made due to availability, cost, or local tastes. 3. Things need to be labeled as Thai just because they add Sriracha, a little bit of fish sauce, or some crushed peanuts. Thai-inspired, yes. Thai, not automatically. The same is true of using ingredients like lemongrass and coconut milk. The fusion of other cuisines with Thai cuisine is fusion. That’s okay, but it should be labeled correctly.

For the spice level, it doesn’t make sense to do it full-on because restaurants want to keep a dish. After all, it is too spicy for the unknowing person who ordered it, thinking they can eat really spicy food. Thai spicy, “เผ็ด” is for people who can eat habaneros. I generally go for Thai medium เผ็ดกลาง, or mild, เผ็ดน้อย. Depending on the restaurant I’m eating at, เผ็ดกลาง can definitely be enough to make me sweat, somewhere below the bird chili rating but substantially above jalapeno. Mild is usually straightforward, with no challenge; think typical medium jarred salsa, but at the right place, mild can be closer to roasted jalapeno. If you can’t take spicy, better say “ไม่เผ็ด” to ensure it’s not spicy, but that can mean there is still some spice built in that provides flavor. If you want to be sure, “ไม่เผ็ดเลย” emphasizes that it is not spicy at all. If you’re not ordering fluently in Thai, they’re probably going to hedge on the safe side, though. Even in Thailand, Chili is often served on the side, with the other condiments of fish sauce, Chili in vinegar, and sugar, because most little kids can’t eat spicy, or at least not yet, anyway.

Thai food tends to be very flavorful and balanced between sweet and salty. Yes, there are a lot of spicy dishes because of the history of spices covering rotting meat flavors in the tropical heat and methods of drying foods for preservation, but that’s not what Thai cuisine is about. In any cuisine, there is enough authentic variation, even in the local foods in various parts of the country and by personal taste, so there is no reason to judge authenticity too harshly, and that includes spice level. Of course, there are more common or expected levels of heat and flavor, and those who can eat spicy can eat spicy well. I have cousins who can’t take spice and those who devour Jungle Curry. I can’t eat Jungle Curry. Okay, well, I’ve never had it outside of Thailand, and I haven’t tried it in a couple of decades, so maybe I could eat a toned-down version, but I am telling you, the real thing is really, really, super duper ridiculously spicy. Then again, twenty years ago, I couldn’t eat jalapenos or gochujang or Sriracha either, so that I could handle it now, but I doubt it. I had the medium spicy boat noodles at Pa Ord Noodle over the holidays and sweated up a storm, but that’s usually the exception and not the norm. Medium spicy at Zen Yai Thai in San Francisco is just right for me. Roasted jalapenos are delicious. Serranos and bird chilis are on the borderline, and habaneros and Jungle Curry would be too much for me.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

Sometimes, ingredients are not available or hard to come by, and substitutes need to be made. I grew up with Pad Siyiu, made with broccoli. While it’s easier to keep and store condiments such as fish sauce (my family switched from Tiparos to Squid brand over the years) at home, fresh ingredients are notoriously hard to find in the Midwest U.S.A. if you’re not near a big city. We used to stop in Chicago on the way home to eat Vietnamese noodle soup (there were no Thai noodle places at that time) and buy various things at the one Thai grocery on Broadway. Frozen shrimp with heads on, various Thai desserts and snacks, fresh vegetables and fruits that were definitely not grown near Chicago, Chinese dim sum and frozen baozi and yutiao to take home, etc.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a lot of Thai restaurants. They have supplies here because of the heavy Asian population so I can find pak boong in the grocery store sometimes, and things like galangal and lemongrass. Kaffir lime leaves are harder to find. As for eateries, I haven’t tried that many – I usually read reviews, get recommendations, and eat at a few that I like. Many have closed up shop over the years, like Gatip Classic Thai, served Isaan food with sticky rice in the gatip and Thai style grilled chicken, on Lombard, and a few other places we have tried. Our staple place is Krung Thai on S. Winchester Blvd, south of Valley Fair Mall.

Having had food allergies for many years and only recently been able to tolerate small amounts of fish, I ate Thai dishes without fish sauce or any trace of seafood for a decade, and I’ve been shellfish-free for another decade prior to that. Yes, it is possible to make things that are authentic Thai but seafood and nut-free. Some Thai vegetarians eat “jae” and can’t have fish sauce. At local Asian grocery stores, we can find fresh rice noodles, meats, cilantro (pak-chee), and even pak-ka-na (Chinese broccoli, aka gai lan/jie lan). Plenty of garlic, salt, and sugar, with some soy sauce, compensate for the taste of fish sauce. Som tum with green papaya, also deliciously made without any fish sauce and spice level as requested, is still one of my favorites.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

As for Thai restaurants elsewhere, I have seen plenty of Pad Thai made with ingredients that I consider weird, but that doesn’t really matter. I prefer fresh bean sprouts, but you can only get them sometimes. Sometimes, they’ll serve only cabbage and carrots to give you the mildly sweet, refreshing, light crunch on the side. We can’t have our Pad Thai with the delicious dried shrimp and peanuts. However, the rest of the dish can still be authentic, whether made ideally with tamarind or substituted with lime, ketchup, or vinegar, whatever is needed to adjust the flavor.

Maybe I have mellowed because I used to think food that didn’t meet the usual was unauthentic, but these days, it’s more about having something that tastes good and is a fair representation, or attempt, at making the dish. Will I eat it if made by a friend? Probably. Should I buy it at a restaurant if it’s not up to par? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it is terrible; it’s just not to my liking.

My taste buds are influenced by what I grew up eating, as a slightly Americanized Thai kid, growing up in the Midwest but spending plenty of time in Thailand with family, eating all sorts of delicious things (even seafood, before I became allergic in adulthood).

I speak Thai whenever I meet Thai people, even if my Thai is waning. I still don’t dare to eat at new Thai places, primarily because of food allergies, though now. I still won’t eat or recommend places where I have eaten things that are so inauthentic that I can’t stand it, i.e., Amarin Thai on Castro that once sold me haw shock as chunks of fish in a runny red curry sauce just sitting on cabbage leaves. I know it has the flavor components, but it didn’t have enough of it. So Sorry, No. Haw mhok is a steamed fish custard, usually in banana leaves. I had a better version once somewhere in Campbell, some Cambodian place that we ate at before our wedding with a family that flew in. Chunks of fish won’t cut it. Not authentic. Haven’t had a good haw book since that day.

Pad Thai made with ketchup, served with crisp raw veggies that don’t even include bean sprouts on the side, still okay. It could be more authentic, but it’s good enough. Wouldn’t buy it. If I am paying, it has to be the kind with tamarind. The color is different from the ketchup kind. My mom used ketchup because she didn’t have tamarind. Tasty, but still different.

Curry, as long as it is balanced in spice and based on a paste, with coconut milk/cream only and not bastardized with other milk, is good for me. I can’t eat most Thai curry pastes these days due to shellfish, so I miss the kind that has shrimp flavoring. The pastes I buy have lemongrass, kaffir lime, galangal, ginger, Chili, etc, but they don’t taste the same. It’s still authentic without the shrimp paste. We can’t have Massaman either because of peanut allergies.

So if it tastes good to you, eat it. Don’t worry too much about how authentic it is. If the heart of the person making it is authentic, that’s all you need to know.

Why are there so many Thai restaurants and food trucks in Alaska? 

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