In the past I have been dismissive of Yum Thai, looking askance when Yum was even mentioned in the same breath as Spoon or Thai Aree, I am now prepared to say I was wrong. While, IMHO, Yum Thai is not in the category as Spoon or Thai Aree if one orders from the 'Thai' menu excellent non-Schuamburg choices abound.
My first visit to Yum Thai was mildly disappointing, my wife and I ventured out beyond Harlem Ave only to be greeted by standard American Thai consisting of Lard Nar, that Ellen thought resembled Hamburger Helper, slightly tired red snapper and, no matter how we phrased our desire for spicy to our personable waitress Aoy, mildly spiced food.
My second visit with The Mayor of Chicago Chowhound, Vital Information, for lunch was quite good. We started with deep-fried fish patties served with a sweet and sour peanut sauce. This was the weakest, IMHO, dish of our lunch consisting of limp mild fish cakes served with a somewhat nondescript sauce. Things got better immediately with Yum's squid salad, mounds of tender squid scattered with finely cut garlic and glistening with lime and fish sauce, really quite good.
Our next course consisted of perfectly fried catfish and thin string beans in a somewhat granular red curry. This was my favorite of the meal and alone was good enough to bring me back to Yum Thai. We also had a very flavorful Mon style curry, really more soup than curry, with fresh shrimp and small chunks of pumpkin. The soup was quite strong flavored with shrimp paste, but in no way overpowering, quite excellent in all regards.
By the way, thank you, again, to Foodfirst for translating the Yum Thai 'Secret' menu and to Zim for converting the menu into an easily readable and printable format. Yum Thai has copies available for the asking.
Da Mayor, riding high on a Ace's full winner of a meal at Yum Thai, brought out the big guns for dessert, Dunk Donut on W Lake in Melrose Park. Though I am not much of a donut fan, yes, I know, odd but true, Dunk Donut was a cut above, especially ambiance wise. This is a place that ReneG would love, worthy of a pilgrimage to the uncharted waters West of Harlem Ave.
We rounded out the afternoon at Caputo's Cheese Market on N 15th, where I purchased house made fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese for the amazingly low price of $2.19 per pound.
All in all a fine afternoon spent West of Harlem in the company of Da Mayor.
7748 W Madison
Forest Park, IL. 60130
1912 W Lake St
Melrose Park, IL
Caputo Cheese Market
931 N. 15th Avenue
Melrose Park, IL 60160
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