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Wakefield - Porchai (Thai) and Cravings (dessert) [long]


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Wakefield - Porchai (Thai) and Cravings (dessert) [long]

dabbler | Jan 31, 2005 11:59 AM

I finally managed to get over to Wakefield (North of Boston) from Woburn for some Thai food, and since I get so much information from this board, I thought I'd share some back for everyone in case it's useful.

We ate at Porchai (19 Centre), the same place that used to be Thai Smile that used to be Honeybee - guess it's a good place for Thai restaurants. (The waitress said that the owners of Thai Smile passed the restaurant on because they got tired.) Verdict was that the food was good although not outstanding, but an excellent value. There were a number of interesting seafood dishes on the menu that we couldn't take advantage of because we're not big seafood eaters. It was about on the same level as Thai Rice in Woburn, but with a quite different menu.

We ordered Mee Grob (crispy rice noodles with tamarind sauce) for an appetizer. Neither of us had had the dish before, so I can't comment on authenticity, but it was nice and sweet and almost reminded me of a dark caramelized Rice Krispie treat, although less sticky and sweet than that. It was served with a small amount of uncooked bean sprouts and red pepper strips. There was plenty, so we ended up leftovers.

For dinner, we ordered Pad See Ew (flat rice noodles with broccoli, carrots, egg, and chicken with a sweet gravy) and a dish of chicken and green beans with Pik Khing sauce (ordered Thai spicy). The Pad See Ew was good, although there was less sauce than I'm used to in general. The chicken and green beans dish was quite good (preferred by both of us), although it was more flavorful than spicy. However, since the waitress specifically asked us if the dish was too spicy, I'm guessing that she may have overruled our request out of concern. Next time, we'll just have to request a little harder. :)

The meal was an excellent value for Thai food - it came to about $28 for appetizer and two entrees (the entrees include rice, either jasmine or brown, which is a very nice touch) and portion sizes were large enough that we had (small) leftovers of all three. I would be interested in going back to try a few other items, such as the Thai Bags appetizer (contain water chestnuts, imitation crab, cream cheese? with homemade strawberry sauce), although the menu didn't draw me in so much that I'd choose it over trying, say, Duck Walk down the street.

The service was very nice - there was only one waitress, but the dining area isn't very large and there were only 3 tables in use at the time (plus takeout handling, etc.). She was very good about refilling water and was friendly without going overboard.

After dinner, I saw that a place called Cravings was still open on Main St / Rte 129 in Wakefield, so I had to stop in and check it out. Cravings is a small ice cream /chocolates / candy store that actually makes its own ice cream (most of the year-round stores I've found in that area carry Richardson's ice cream, which isn't bad but can get boring), including my favorite, sweet cream. It also makes both egg creams and I think also lime rickys and other ice cream / soda drinks, which I know people had asked about in previous threads. It was a little cold (although the ice cream taste I got was good), so I ended up getting a chocolate from their selection of truffles, etc. (many from Dante truffles, if that makes a difference). There's also a small selection of bulk candy, such as meltaways and gummi worms. They have tables and also stools to sit at the ice cream bar, and you can order ice cream cakes.

The extra-large peanut butter cup I got ($3.50) was good but not astounding - I probably should have gotten the dark chocolate one instead of milk chocolate.

I just thought I'd share this as well because I couldn't find anything about Cravings when doing a search, and it seemed cute and worth more investigation.

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