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Washington DC & Baltimore Thai

Rescued from Outback -- Crystal Thai and Some Great Chili Squid

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Rescued from Outback -- Crystal Thai and Some Great Chili Squid

Sthitch | Aug 26, 2004 09:29 AM

Last night my wife had a yearning for steak. Unfortunately the decision was made too late to go somewhere decent and she insisted on wanting to go to Outback. Being a dutiful husband, I demurred and agreed, but delicately tried to convince her that we should go somewhere else. As we were heading to the restaurant I asked her, where would you like to go if we cannot find a parking spot? This is a fair question as we were heading to the one in the little shopping center off of route 50 in Arlington. She told me that it was up to me.
Well we found a spot, I walked slowly to the door, letting as many people as I could enter before we did, and on this walk I inquired “what is the threshold for waiting time?”
“Twenty minutes”
I thought to myself, great she is willing to take twenty minutes of my life waiting to get a table to eat a mediocre piece of meat. I had already had a bad day, and this was not helping to change that. I noticed that there were a number of people waiting outside and the inside waiting area was full, I was beginning to feel good about this. We approached the hostess, on a side note black is only sliming when it is not skin tight, and inquired about the wait-time.
“Oh, at least 30 minutes”
Finally my day was getting better. I started for the door, and my wife asked, “what do you think.”
I finally answered her when I was standing outside.
“Are you in the mood for Thai?”
“Sure”
So we walked around the corner to Crystal Thai. We have been several times and always had great food. Last night I was really in for a treat. The appetizer was a nicely done steamed dumpling, with a sweet sauce on top, nothing too unusual. But for the entrees, my wife ordered a crispy hot pork, and I decided upon the squid in hot chili sauce.
The pork was served in large slices with a side dish containing a clear slightly vinegary sauce. The pork was quite flavorful on its own, and the sauce really added to the complexity of the dish. I laughed at her when she accidentally ate a piece of Thai chili that was in the sauce, that was my revenge for her trying to make me suffer through Outback.
While the pork was good, the squid were magnificent. The curled slices of squid cap came on a platter bathed in a red chili and coconut sauce that had hints of curry. The dish was topped with scallions and Thai basil. The squid were perfectly tender, it almost felt as if they were melting in your mouth. The chili sauce was rich, but not fatty with the coconut milk, and the anise flavor of the basil brought another dimension to this already fine dish. This dish made me happy, it was a joy to eat, that was until my mouth exploded. I almost thought that I was suddenly in a comic book with flames coming out of my mouth, ears, and nostrils. I quickly grabbed for my bottle of Singh Ha, oh damn beer does nothing to quench the fire, I knew that but I was not thinking. I jabbed a piece of cucumber off of the pork platter and shoved it in my mouth. It was so soothing, only problem is that I hate cucumber. Oh well, beer did take that flavor away. What I soon discovered was that hidden in with the scallions, were sliced Thai chili peppers. I have no idea how many I ate, but my wife got a great revenge laugh from the whole incident.
Crystal Thai is such a wonderful restaurant, and I have never left other than happy, and I do not mean, that I was content with the food and service, but actually happy to have been greeted by what comes across as a genuine smile, pleasant and helpful wait staff and food that is truly wonderful. I hope the next time my wife gets an Outback craving, I can either get a reservation at Ray’s, or convince her to go back to Crystal Thai.

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