We took the Slow Boat from Luang Prabang in Laos two days earlier. We arrived in Chiang Khong exhausted and made it to our Hotel about 7:00pm. After dropping off our bags and cleaning up a bit we set out for food. Many things close early in the part of town we were in so we did not have many options. According to TA, Bamboo Mexican House was open until 830. We needed to hit up an ATM and it was a little less than a kilometer away so we needed to hoof it! We arrived and were welcomed by the owner Jib. Walking around with a beer in his hand he got us settled at a table with menus. We started looking over the menu and you could tell that the pictures were ones that he had taken of actual dishes. Nothing is more annoying that stock pictures that do not represent what you will get. Frankly that is bullcrap! As I sit here writing this review I am remembering the pictures and my mouth is literally watering!
We got a couple cold beers and decided on Chips and Salsa to start. Beef Fajitas, Beef Tostadas and Chili Quesadilla. As Jib took our order he laid a bombshell on us! He had never been to Mexico or even the Southwest US. In fact he has never left Chiang Khong and taught himself to cook Mexican food with just his own tastes and the help of some guests over the years. Needless to say we became skeptical, but we had ordered and by now there was almost nothing else open.
Jib brought us our chips and salsa and that is when we knew it would be okay.
Normally we get chips and we are used to seasoning them with salt. We were spoiled in the US and Mexican is one of our favorites and everyone knows the Chips and salsa sets the stage for the whole meal. Before I asked for salt I picked up a chip and plucked it in my mouth. Holy crap! It was hot and seasoned to perfection. The salsa was in contrast cold and equally as delightful. We just did not see this coming! Another beer and the rest of the food arrived. After a couple bites we thought Jib was pulling our leg. How can you cook this good and have never been out of your hometown!? Not wanting our food to get cold we just dismissed the question as Thai magic and devoured every single bite. Maybe it was the long day, maybe the beer or maybe we were just that damn hungry but I would have to put Bamboo Mexican House at the top of the list of any Mexican food place we have been to into in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Thailand. I would even stack it against many places in the US. Stop reading and go see Jib and his lovely wife!
PS - if you like it spicy, ask Jib to share some of his own grown chilis!
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