Wake Up My Taste Buds Jasmine….Surprise Me

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I am in Harrison AR doing some training for my company. I had a blast with two managers who needed to makeup the training I brought here in November. I was afraid that it would be dull with only two attendees, but they were really into it. One of them even gave me this great formal presentation on FedEx Freight since this is the home office. It was awesome to see somebody so excited about their employer, and I learned a lot. Did you know that to train for roping bulls, a company makes a plastic bull with a motor inside? FedEx Freight ships them! Ever wonder how the “W” in the Walmart signs gets shipped? FedEx Freight does it! IMG_2678

After such a lively day, I needed a cup of green tea and I wanted a nice comforting healthy meal. Jasmine, the Thai restaurant in Harrison is phenomenal. Who would have thought there’d be a little Oriental gem in the middle of Ozark Country? The last time I was in town, I devoured the Bangkok Mango which was this subtly spicy dish with scallops, shrimp and lots of fresh mango. If there is one thing I love, it’s the surprising combination of flavors when spicy and sweet are combined. So, I’m here for an early dinner before I go the hotel and unwind for the night. A Harrison woman and her mother were the only two in the restaurant when I got there. They told me to get the Pineapple Fried Rice. So, I ordered a cup of green tea in a beautiful glass mug and sipped on it while I munched on an appetizer called Lady Fingers. It was shrimp rolled in an egg roll wrapper and fried golden brown. I shared my culinary find with the two women here, and they shared one of their spring rolls with peanut sauce with me.

Lady Fingers...eggroll-like but crunchier with a zesty sauce

Lady Fingers…eggroll-like but crunchier with a zesty sauce

So, I ordered the Pineapple Fried Rice after sitting for a bit sipping my green tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of it lately trying to tame a chest cold. I’m starting to get addicted. The Fried Rice was delicious. Again, it was a great unexpected mix of flavors. The rice was very lightly sauteed in a light oil. It didn’t taste fried at all, but it was shiny enough for me to know it had been. Tender chicken breast meat was chopped into 1/2″ pieces with generous trimmings of fresh cooked pineapple, golden raisins, currants and cashews. It was not spicy at all. It was sweet and a bit savory. There was so much, I’m boxing it up for lunch tomorrow. Or, maybe even breakfast if I prefer. The fruit combined with the protein and carbs will be a perfect breakfast, especially after a run.

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Pineapple Fried Rice…love the combination of sweet, savory and salty. Yummy!

I wanted to order the sticky rice with mango for dessert, but I’m full. I guess I’ll have to return for another visit tomorrow. The nice thing about this place is the food is healthy and well-prepared, so it’s a place I can feel good about frequenting. Oh, and my friends shared a bit of their fried banana with chocolate sauce with me. It was just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

As I was leaving, I had a short conversation with the Oriental waitress about my cool little Sherpani wallet and the sticky rice with mango dessert. She said it’s fabulous, but it’s not good for you. “You can’t eat it every day, or you’ll be fat,” she laughed. In the background, on her radio I could hear that yummy Chris Young crooning about all I can think about ….. is Gettin’ You Home. Once again, I felt a little thrill at the juxtaposition of two unexpected cultures and flavors colliding in a fabulous little Thai Restaurant in Harrison AR. Yummy….be back soon, Jasmine.

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