Snow days and Thai food on the Grand Strand!

It’s been an interesting couple of days here at the beach, we’ve been getting some Winter Weather! (I use capitals, because to us, with our thin Carolina skins, snow and ice are UNKNOWN and we must be wary of them). We woke up yesterday to ice and little snow flurries, which quickly became huge snow flurries. Did it stick? No of course not, but it was pretty to watch. Also, classes and many offices were closed or cancelled, much to the amusement of those who have moved here from more Northern regions. The beach was one of the few places snow DID NOT stick; most of South Carolina had anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow. Does the beach have some sort of forcefield protecting it from Winter Weather? Probably not; we did end up having freezing rain and ice, but that too was short lived. Maybe this is why living on the beach is so nice. We generally repel bad weather.

Speaking of keeping warm, what better way to do so than with some spicy, aromatic and delicious Thai food! I have been a huge fan of Thai food for years, and it is rapidly gaining in popularity, which is great because that means it is very accessible to everyone.

If you haven’t tried Thai food, I highly suggest you do. You may have heard it’s extremely spicy. Thai food CAN be spicy, very much so, but Thai restaurants offer spice levels ranging from Mild, which is hardly spicy, to Authentic, which I haven’t tried, but have heard is extraordinarily hot. Your server will be more than willing to help you determine the spice level that will be appropriate for you. And if you are thrown off by any ingredients you’ve never heard of, the server can explain those as well. Some common ingredients in Thai food include curry, basil, lemongrass, cilantro, lime and coconut milk. While these may seem like ingredients that wouldn’t mesh well together, quite the opposite is true; they blend to create complex dishes that are fresh and delicious.

A local favorite for Thai food in this area is The Blue Elephant in Murrells Inlet. This is authentic Thai food at its finest, as all meals are cooked by Dr. Paul, and use only the finest imported ingredients. Here is a little information about them:

Our menu comes from popular dishes cooked in Thailand. The preparation, style and taste of our cooking is found on every street corner in Thailand.

Spicy dishes are balanced by bland dishes to avoid discomfort. The ideal Thai meal is a harmonious blend of spicy, subtle, sweet and sour and is meant to be equally satisfying to the eyes, nose, and palate.

Thai Elephant Cuisine promotes healthy eating by using ingredients directly imported from Thailand and cooked on the premises. No Monosodium Glutamate is used in any of our dishes.

I have had the pleasure of trying numerous items from their menu, and all have been excellent. The soups, especially the TOM KHA GAI (Coconut Chicken Soup) is amazing, and perfect on a winter day. The red chicken curry is great, as is the pad Thai, the calamari and the Thai Elephant Seafood, which is one of the specialty dishes there. Be sure to bring an appetite or someone to share with, as portions are large and you’ll have plenty left over. For more information on Blue Elephant, visit them at

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