This is a long-overdue post to praise the great chow at Siam Square, a thoroughly unpretentious Thai place on Pleasant Street in Northampton. I get takeout lunch from there a few times a week, as my office is on the same block.
What I love about this place is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how they make most of their dishes -- which, for me, is 99% of the fun! If I could figure it out, I'd make it at home!
Particular favorites of mine are:
Siam rolls: Yummy little steamed pouches of shrimp and chicken and crunchy water chestnut, topped with deep fried granulated garlic sprinkles. Don't open your mouth near any one else for the rest of the day
Chicken Madness: Finely minced chicken, blasted with garlic and spiked with finely chopped red and green chiles, mellowed by liberal handfuls of basil. I order mine with chunks of pineapple added -- probably inauthentic but yummy none the less.
Shrimp Delicacy: Perfectly succulent shrimp in a velvety, tangy sauce with crisp veggies and nuts
All of their fried rice dishes are wonderful -- light, non-greasy, crisp veggies and delicately spiced -- good options for those new to Thai food and/or the faint of heart.
My only dissapointment has been their Pad Thai -- It has always seemed a little lackluster to me -- not enough of that crunchy/silky, spicy/savory contrast going on for my taste.
An insiders secret: Order the Yum Yum Noodle Soup, which is not usually on the menu, but they will make it special if you ask. It's layers of noodles, broth, little chicken and shrimp balls, lots of garlicky/sweet/sour accents in a huge portion suitable for an entire meal. They will only make this as a take out item if you agree to bring your own container -- they don't stock the big plastic soup take out containers I guess. It may take some negotiating, but it's SO worth it!!
Do try it if you're in the neighborhood -- it's reasonably priced and the people are super nice.