inspired by RST (whose rapid-fire questioning (interrogation) of anyone within earshot on a recent southside bbq tour yielded great leads), I now hound just about anyone I meet for restaurant tips.
on a recent snowy night, this happened to be the (thai) pizza delivery dude. though he couldn't remember the name or address of his favorite haunt, I withheld payment long enough for him to run back to the car and text message my phone with the restaurant's phone number. google revealed the restaurant to be manee thai, on addison and pulaski.
at 8 pm this evening, manee was totally empty. I scanned the menu for interesting items, but outside of odd pan-asian interpolations (edamame, chow mein, udon) and an intriguing special or two, the standard menu is stock amerithai.
they DO have a thai menu, which my server was happy to provide. but her smile upon my asking for the thai menu was her only smile of the evening. she seemed ticked off that I wanted advice -- huffing, puffing, and rolling eyes at each request for recommendations and/or translation.
since she wouldn't translate, I picked at random, and got the following:
dried deep fried pork
thai fried chicken
the dried pork, which was sorta like thai 'jerky' preperations I've had elsewhere, was addictively good, and while the fried chicken didn't measure up to spoon thai's version, it was still enjoyable. service was inattentive, to put it nicely. considering that there was no one else in the restaurant, this was baffling. attempts to flag down the server went ignored, as did my water glass.
another complaint: unlike yum thai or spoon thai, where the thai ('secret') menu items cost dramatically less than they should, manee's thai menu is no bargain. each small dish was around $8.95, which, with rice, brought my check to over $30. these were NOT large portions. a similar meal at spoon would've been closer to $16, if that.
since I can't read thai, I can't tell if the thai/secret menu offers any dishes unavailable at the so-called 'top-tier' thai restaurants beloved by this board, and while I am always attracted by the possibility of the unexpected, the lackluster service and high prices are a real turn-off.
3558 N. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60641
mon-sat 11-10, sun 12-10
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