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Restaurants & Bars 12

[PDX] Peemkaew (Thai in the Pearl)

extramsg | Feb 16, 200501:40 AM

Had lunch with a few PortlandFooders at this relatively new Thai place on NW Park.

The menu is very typical, with a narrower menu with lower prices for lunch (most items $6.50). Lots of pad this and that, some fried rices, the basic curries, two soups, salad rolls and spring rolls. The lunch menu also has three house specials: a typical Thai salad, a pumpkin curry, and a pad egg plant.

The dinner menu is also very typical, just with about twice the options. Prices are generally $7.95 on the dinner menu unless you order seafood.

Our dishes were a yellow curry with tofu, green curry with beef, pad eggplant, and a board special, some Bangkok street soup thing.

Everything had a touch of sweetness to it, even the soup. The curries had an okay intensity, but didn't have much of a rounded flavor. They just tasted like coconut milk with store-bought curry paste mixed in. Not overly watered down like some, but nothing that any person reading this couldn't do at home with two or three ingredients off the shelf and about 10 minutes. The yellow curry came with potatoes and carrots while the green came with green beans and bell peppers.

I found the eggplant dish to be very Chinese-ey. It was just some Chinese egplant quartered lengthwise and chopped into 1 inch segments and stir-fried in a black bean sauce with some other vegetables. The eggplant were cooked fine, but it was a rather blah dish.

To me, the soup was an okay pho. I didn't really see the difference between it and pho, except you got choice of meat (ie, pork, chicken, beef, tofu). However, it was the most expensive item. You'd be much better off going down the street getting pho at Pho Van for about the same price and twice the portion. Or, of course, a place like Pho Oregon where it'd be cheaper and better.

I'd be willing to go back if I was in the area and had an urge for Thai food. I think the other nearest place is Peacock, which is no better. It's not a waste of money for those lunchers in the area. But it's nothing worth making a trip for. At least one of the dishes should have been a standout.


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