As much as I talk about shooting in low light and trying to make the environment work for you, there’s just some instances where you go home, pull up the photos and immediately have the sinking feeling. So you go home, see which photos can be salvaged, make some adjustments and hope to get a second chance to redo the pics. If it’s something like road side burgers in your hometown, you remain hopeful you’ll have a chance to come back and get one magic, money shot.
That was certainly the case with my visits to the Daniel Thaiger burger truck, so much so that I tended to forget taking photos and focus on making sex faces at these juicy beef and pork burgers. It’s not just that Sukhumvit soi 38 ,where Daniel Thaiger is normally parked, is dimly lit, but also that there’s a giant yellow street light above the truck that washes out the other colors in your photo and makes everything look as appetizing as two day old fries under the Mcdonald’s heating lamps.
Then a miracle happened.
I was minding my own business, and definitely NOT thinking about burgers at a conference I was attending. I don’t mean not thinking about burgers like when someone tells you not to think about sex. I have actually developed the skills to put burgers outside of my range of thought, especially when I’m in ambiguous eating situations in Thailand, where such thoughts could be disastrous.
That’s when they announce the break for lunch, open the doors, and the all too familiar aroma heightens my senses.
Lo and behold, the organizers had contacted Daniel Thaiger and had the street food truck pull right up to the conference venue’s doors and start grilling up burgers. Holy hell. Now when I was done profusely thanking Jesus, I grabbed my camera, realizing this was my mid-afternoon opportunity to redo many of the shots that had gone to incandescent hell.
Mark, LA native and the truck’s chief burger flipper, will tell you he named the truck after his son Daniel and is proud he grinds his own beef fresh each day. Together with his wife and sister in law, they arrive in the evening to Sukhumvit 38 creating a crazy queue of burger lovers both Thai and foreign alike. The quality of the beef and other fresh ingredients, frequent special items (jalapeño, bacon mac and cheese burgers—- special sauces — hidden menu items, etc…) and the price makes this the best burger in Bangkok of it’s class. The word is out too and you could wait half an hour or longer on busy nights. There’s more to say about Daniel Thaiger and the arrival of this type of street food on Bangkok’s dining scene, but I’ll let the burger photo below have the final word…
Money shot, HAAAALLlLeeeiiughiiiiAAaaa!
Update: You can now get a Daniel Thaiger burger, Bangkok’s best burger, at CRAFT in Asoke (Sukhumvit 23), or at Game Over (Liberty Plaza, Thonglor). Watch their Facebook page, they’ve announced more food trucks are coming to Bangkok streets soon!