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Chicago Area Thai Regional Foods

Thai Pastry: Regional Dishes?

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Thai Pastry: Regional Dishes?

JeffB | Sep 19, 2002 02:19 PM

We just ordered in from the now well-publicized Thai Pastry. With recent posts about regional Thai cooking in mind, I noticed several dishes that I have not seen on other Thai menus around town. For example, beef soup with meatballs sounds kind of pho-ish. There also are the pork shank dishes (on the bone or sliced with sticky rice, glazed with a "dark sweet sauce" I've been told). The polite woman who takes our orders always firmly talks me out of the pork shank, saying it's "too fatty" or "mostly fat." Such advice does not usually dissuade me from eating blubbery cuts of pork or anything else, but this insistent person always seems to shame me out of it. Anyway, I will henceforth consider Ms. Pastry's warnings as endorsements, since last night when I asked about the "curry clams special," I was told -- "You won't like it, it smells very strong, good for Asian people only." That sealed it, I ordered the clams extra stinky and extra spicy, and it was good, very good. Interestingly, the smell came more from the bamboo shoots than the clams. The shoots were large, largest I've seen, sliced so that they looked just like pad siew/chow fun noodles. The dish was almost like a soup with a coconut milk red curry broth that was indeed quite spicy. The many clams seemed fresh, although they had been removed from their shells. Best of all, at the bottom of the bowl were delicate, bitter greens that I could not identify, as they had wilted beyond recognition. The flavor and texture seemed to me like a bitter version of fiddleheads. I don't know enough about the cuisine to know whether Thai Pastry offers truly unusual regional dishes, but the presence of sticky rice whetted my interest. Apologies if this stuff is old news.

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