Old news right? Why am I bothering to post?
I had a birthday meal to pick out this weekend, I thought about and almost decided on brazilian men carry skewers of meat, or upscale fine fine dining, but instead chose a place that just makes me about as happy as any in the city - Thai Aree.
I had some other considerations in mind too when I decided on Thai Aree, I was going out with my parents, who while they don't have a problem with heat might not get that much into intense funky shrimp paste flavors but who I'd love to have thai food as Emeril would say "kicked up a notch" with the great great grilling and fresh herbs that Eddie grows in the backyard. I wanted to get my dad out of the rut he's been in of eating at Thai room because he loves their tom yum koong. Secondly, I know Eddie pretty well, so felt comfortable calling ahead of time and asking him to make "something for the vegetarians" who were coming as well as asking for a gaeng som (Sour orange curry) not normally on the menu.
When we arrived, Eddie told me that he had gone to the market to get a few special veg. (Just a small indicator of how nice he is) including hollow vegetable, ong choy (so he could make this in the style foodfirst described in a recent thread about spoon thai), we proceeded to order gwiv style pretty much too much. There was the ong choy, the gaeng som (in another sign of Eddie's solicitousness, 1/2 with shrimp, 1/2 just the veggies - papaya, napa cabbage, and cauliflower), grilled oh so well garlic beef, hai-toot or deep fried tofu, fried so expertly that my mom had to ask Eddie how he got it so crunchy on the outside but still soft inside, larb fiery with fresh chilis from the yard and speckled with ground roasted rice, "shrimp in blankets" -shrimp surrounded by ground chicken in wrappers and fried, catfish pad ped -perfectly fried fish with a small amount of great chili-basil slightly coconut milk sauce and fresh crunchy green beans, A tom yum so filled with chili and flavor that it was orange rather than clear, a nicely crunchy charred squid and shrimp pad kee mow, a mild lard nar, another mild veg. soft omelet dish that eddie whipped up for the kids, and a "sweet" green curry with thai eggplant. Everything, Every single thing, was outstanding and the mung bean custard to finish things off was tasty as well.
The only downside was I was so full, that I had to put off the penguin for the next day.
Well there was one more downside, that at 7:00 on saturday there was only one or 2 other couples in there. As we were driving home it really disappointed me to see so many lesser thai places we drove by (manee thai, opart, etc) more full than Aree.
I should also say that while much of our dishes were truly very spicy, folks shouldn't be too concerned that theirs will be to hot for them to handle. Eddie knows I like my food plenty hot and tried his best to make it the way I like it. He succeeded.
3592 N. Milwaukee Ave.
I'm attaching a link to an old post, that may explain why he knows i like my food that way