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    Post #1 - June 26th, 2006, 12:56 pm
    Post #1 - June 26th, 2006, 12:56 pm Post #1 - June 26th, 2006, 12:56 pm
    Hi,

    Can anyone report on the food at Aroy Thai at 4656 N. Damen (near the Damen stop of the Brown Line)?

    How does it compare to Spoon Thai?

    Gracias!!

    Aroy Thai
    4656 N. Damen
    773-275-8360
    11 a.m.-10 p.m
    Last edited by funghi on June 27th, 2006, 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - June 26th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    Post #2 - June 26th, 2006, 3:00 pm Post #2 - June 26th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    funghi wrote:Can anyone report on the food at Arroy Thai at 4656 N. Damen (near the Damen stop of the Brown Line)?


    "Aroy" is spelled with one "r," not two.

    And, a run through the search engine will turn up quite a bit of commentary.

    I, for one, have posted a number of times on Aroy Thai.

    Here is a head start:

    One

    Two

    Three

    Four

    Five

    Six

    funghi wrote:How does it compare to Spoon Thai?


    Apples and oranges, my friend.

    Aroy Thai is one of the best Thai restaurants in the Chicagoland area, and like any other establishment of this calibre, it has a number of unique offerings.

    Here are just a few of them:

    tôm yam lûuk chín néua : rich, spicy, and sour soup with braised beef and straw mushrooms

    khanõm jiin náam phrík : rice vermicelli and assorted vegetables, served with a minced pork, tamarind, and chile sauce on the side

    lâap khûa : Northern Thai-style spicy salad with minced pork, garlic, and aromatics

    phàt nàw mái náam phrík nùm : pickled bamboo shoots stir-fried with minced pork and green chile sauce


    Oh, and see if you can get them to make sômtam puu sài khài khẽm (papaya salad with pickled crab and salted duck eggs).

    That is a favourite of mine.

    Aroy Thai *
    4656 N. Damen
    773.275.8360
    11 a.m.-10 p.m., daily

    E.M.

    * Aroy Thai is one of several local establishments which furnishes its Thai patrons with a separate Thai language menu. You will find a translation of Aroy Thai's Thai language menu at my website, www.silapaahaan.com
  • Post #3 - June 26th, 2006, 7:40 pm
    Post #3 - June 26th, 2006, 7:40 pm Post #3 - June 26th, 2006, 7:40 pm
    Erik M. wrote:Apples and oranges, my friend.


    Interesting comment...do you care to elaborate?
  • Post #4 - June 26th, 2006, 7:55 pm
    Post #4 - June 26th, 2006, 7:55 pm Post #4 - June 26th, 2006, 7:55 pm
    funghi wrote:(near the Damen stop of the Brown Line)

    We went to Siam Country, which is right at the Damen stop of the Brown Line, on Friday night, and really liked it. I had the Thai Cashew Nut with duck (boneless duck stir-fried with cashews, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, and pineapple) and it was really good. So were the fish cakes.

    How's that for a non sequitur?

    Followed by a visit to The Chocolate Shoppe (is that the name?) which I do believe has the best ice cream in Chicago, based on the Caramel Chaos which was so rich and creamy and full of flavor that it deserved to be called gelato, even though it wasn't. (It probably could have held its own against any other gelato in the city, for that matter.)
  • Post #5 - June 26th, 2006, 8:04 pm
    Post #5 - June 26th, 2006, 8:04 pm Post #5 - June 26th, 2006, 8:04 pm
    Followed by a visit to The Chocolate Shoppe (is that the name?)


    Judging by where you were, I assume you mean Sweet Occasions, which carries Chocolate Shoppe ice cream from Madison, as did Evanston Creamery and does... The Chocolate Shoppe on Devon.

    Sweet Occasions and More!
    5306 North Clark
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773.275.5190

    Sweet Occasions and More!
    4639 North Damen Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773.293.3080
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  • Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 8:15 pm
    Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 8:15 pm Post #6 - June 26th, 2006, 8:15 pm
    Mike G wrote:Judging by where you were, I assume you mean Sweet Occasions, which carries Chocolate Shoppe ice cream from Madison, as did Evanston Creamery and does... The Chocolate Shoppe on Devon.

    Sweet Occasions and More!
    5306 North Clark
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773.275.5190

    Sweet Occasions and More!
    4639 North Damen Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773.293.3080

    That's it! Thanks.
  • Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 9:26 pm Post #7 - June 26th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    Aaron Deacon wrote:
    Erik M. wrote:Apples and oranges, my friend.


    Interesting comment...do you care to elaborate?


    I thought that I did.

    Aroy Thai is one of the best Thai restaurants in the Chicagoland area, and like any other establishment of this calibre, it has a number of unique offerings.

    Here are just a few of them:

    tôm yam lûuk chín néua : rich, spicy, and sour soup with braised beef and straw mushrooms

    khanõm jiin náam phrík : rice vermicelli and assorted vegetables, served with a minced pork, tamarind, and chile sauce on the side

    lâap khûa : Northern Thai-style spicy salad with minced pork, garlic, and aromatics

    phàt nàw mái náam phrík nùm : pickled bamboo shoots stir-fried with minced pork and green chile sauce


    My point above is that comparing the top-tier Thai establishments is largely folly.

    There are a number of (exceptional) unique offerings at Aroy Thai which you will not find at Spoon et al.

    In turn, there are a number of (exceptional) unique offerings at Spoon et al. which you will not find at Aroy Thai.

    And, when we are talking about restaurants of this calibre, the remainder is greatly a matter of stylistic interpretation.*

    E.M.

    * For example, even though there are marked differences in their preparation, I equally enjoy the phàt krà-phrao kài at Spoon and Aroy Thai.
  • Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 11:37 pm
    Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 11:37 pm Post #8 - June 26th, 2006, 11:37 pm
    Thanks, I wasn't sure if you meant different dishes that each did well or very different preparations of the same dish or something else entirely.

    I have a vague recollection of, maybe 2 years ago, a discussion about genre differences between the sorts of Thai food served at, I think it was, Spoon Thai, Siam Noodles & Rice, and TAC Quick.

    It's clear that there are differences in execution between the top Thai restaurants, but I don't have a sophisticated enough understanding of Thai cuisine to understand the degree to which these differences express the palate of the chef, an attempt at a certain "style" of cooking or restaurant, or something else.
  • Post #9 - June 27th, 2006, 7:28 am
    Post #9 - June 27th, 2006, 7:28 am Post #9 - June 27th, 2006, 7:28 am
    Thanks everyone. I appreciate your comments :mrgreen:
  • Post #10 - July 16th, 2006, 4:19 pm
    Post #10 - July 16th, 2006, 4:19 pm Post #10 - July 16th, 2006, 4:19 pm
    Here are photos of two of the items which I mentioned (recommended) above:


    tôm yam lûuk chín néua : rich, spicy, and sour soup with braised beef and straw mushrooms*



    sômtam puu sài khài khẽm : papaya salad with pickled crab and salted duck eggs**

    E.M.

    * This item is clearly indicated on my 2005 Aroy Thai menu translation. And, while the version pictured does not include softened beef tendon (ehn), it is available by special request.

    ** This item is only available at Aroy Thai by special request.
  • Post #11 - June 2nd, 2009, 8:12 am
    Post #11 - June 2nd, 2009, 8:12 am Post #11 - June 2nd, 2009, 8:12 am
    A bit embarrassed to discover (spurred to investigate by reading the TAC Quick thread) that the woeful lack of Aroy Thai coverage here is partly my fault. For several years, I have been the custodian of some Aroy Thai pics from a March 2007 meal I shared with Stagger, Dmnkly, and others. Stagger's pics are actually from that meal; Dmnkly's may be from that meal, or may be from an earlier meal with many of the same dishes. I don't have dish names for all, and granted, this is very dated information, yet hopefully it will spur some contemporary reporting.


    Dmnkly's pics from ?

    Image
    Red curry fish balls

    Image
    Pork salad

    Image
    Pork neck

    Image
    Isaan sausage

    Image
    Holy basil duck

    Image
    Broccoli duck

    Image
    Bamboo pork

    Image
    Tom yam

    Image
    Som tam

    Stagger's pics from March 14, 2007

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image
  • Post #12 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:30 am
    Post #12 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:30 am Post #12 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:30 am
    As I mentioned in the TAC thread, Aroy is still operating at a very high level and is constantly updating their translated menu. I had a meal there last week that was in every way as good as anything I have had at Spoon, Sticky Rice or TAC.

    I should mention that the sausage I spoke of in that thread has not yet made it into the translated menu. I learned about it only due to the fact that I had ErikM., visiting from LA at our dinner. Of course, the staff was very gracious and interested in our feed back as not many non-Thai folks have had the dish. The point is that they knew we were coming and don't be upset with them if they don't instantly know what you are requesting. Just be patient and friendly. My understanding is that it is on the Thai language menu and the staff will be very happy to serve it if you can communicate what you want.

    The way the sausage translates is actually: mild pork-based sausage with rice and chopped bean thread noodles. (from Erik).

    I haven't posted pictures from the meal as I left my memory card at home, but I had a "best ever" version of crispy pork belly with ginger stir fry (dry-no coconut milk), screaming fresh and pungent Som tam with crab and a salad similar to the "pork salad above but with raw shrimp (this may not be translated yet either but I think it would be pretty easy to communicate what you want as long as they have the shrimp to make it in house at the time). I do know that there are a few other dishes we had that they are still tinkering with such as a version of crying tiger that uses NY strip (a very, very expensive cut for this dish).

    Aroy Thai is clearly one of the pillars of authentic Thai food in Chicago. One of the only issues I had was how to explain what they specialized in (as Sticky Rice - Northern, Spoon - sour and salty flavors, TAC grilled meats and rich soups). Erik explained that they do their best stuff with dry curry pastes and they use a different brand of fish sauce from most other places in the area. Of course, this is not the limit of the kitchen's talent, just as it is not the limit in the restaurants above. In any case Aroy Thai deserves LTH attention every bit as much as the other Thai restaurants that are willing to take a chance and open their kitchens to all that want to eat as Thai customers do.
  • Post #13 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:04 am
    Post #13 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:04 am Post #13 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:04 am
    Stagger wrote:Aroy Thai is clearly one of the pillars of authentic Thai food in Chicago. One of the only issues I had was how to explain what they specialized in (as Sticky Rice - Northern, Spoon - sour and salty flavors, TAC grilled meats and rich soups). Erik explained that they do their best stuff with dry curry pastes and they use a different brand of fish sauce from most other places in the area. Of course, this is not the limit of the kitchen's talent, just as it is not the limit in the restaurants above. In any case Aroy Thai deserves LTH attention every bit as much as the other Thai restaurants that are willing to take a chance and open their kitchens to all that want to eat as Thai customers do.

    I couldn't agree more, and though I have only myself to blame (after all, you don't see any posts from me upthread), I often find myself surprised that Aroy doesn't get more attention around these parts. If it's still where it was a couple of years back, that needs to change.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #14 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:13 am
    Post #14 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:13 am Post #14 - June 2nd, 2009, 10:13 am
    Dmnkly wrote:If it's still where it was a couple of years back, that needs to change.


    If the quality has changed at all, it is for the better... by the way, another thing I love about Aroy Thai is that it is easier to get to than many other places. There is El access via the Damen stop on the Brown line and there is plenty of parking around unlike the places on Western and in Wrigleyville (not that this stops me from going to any of them but still...)
  • Post #15 - June 4th, 2009, 10:32 am
    Post #15 - June 4th, 2009, 10:32 am Post #15 - June 4th, 2009, 10:32 am
    wow, thanks for reviving this thread! I live in the neighborhood, and it is my good fortune to have access to at least a dozen excellent thai options -- however, the downside is that I have overlooked this one. I will check it out as soon as i can!
  • Post #16 - June 10th, 2009, 9:28 pm
    Post #16 - June 10th, 2009, 9:28 pm Post #16 - June 10th, 2009, 9:28 pm
    I'm slightly ashamed, given that I lived a block away from the darn place last year, that Friday will be my inaugural visit to AT. What's on the must-order list for a first timer? The bamboo and/or pork/ginger stir fries sound dandy...
  • Post #17 - June 20th, 2009, 4:23 pm
    Post #17 - June 20th, 2009, 4:23 pm Post #17 - June 20th, 2009, 4:23 pm
    Knowing that we had the (somewhat similar) Bristol and Mado both to look forward to this weekend, we wanted something casual, quick, and different-in-style for dinner last night. Inspired by this thread and a few recent happy_stomach Twitter photos (here and here), REB and I headed to Aroy for dinner. (Well, to be honest, we tried calling Sticky Rice first, but they still appear to be closed. They weren't answering their phone.)

    Ordering was a bit of a struggle. There is a list of specials in Thai on the wall, and when we asked about them, only two were translated. I think the server was having a hard time translating. Fortunately, REB quickly perused this thread for a few ideas. When she clicked on Erik's translation link from her phone, though, she found the link no longer works. Now, looking more closely at this thread, it appears there is a translated menu at the restaurant. (Is that right? If so, we'll ask for it next time.)

    In any event, dinner was quite good and very reasonably-priced. We somehow ended up with four pork dishes:

    > Grilled Pork Neck - - Tender, moist, pork and a really generous portion, with a great fish-saucy sauce. Medium rare in some areas, medium well in others. Good stuff. REB had to point at her neck to successfully order this one.
    > Pork Larb - - Ordered by using Erik's translation above of lâap khûa: Northern Thai-style spicy salad with minced pork, garlic, and aromatics (thanks, Erik!). This was a wonderful dish, filled with ground pork and bits of pork liver and a few other miscellaneous and unidentifiable pieces and parts. When we were served this, we knew the food hadn't been "dumbed down" for us. This was the driest larb I've ever had (there was absolutely no puddle of fish sauce at the bottom of the plate) and also the first one with meat other than of the ground type.
    > Pickled Bamboo Shoots and Pork - - Again, ordered using Erik's translation of phàt nàw mái náam phrík nùm: pickled bamboo shoots stir-fried with minced pork and green chile sauce. Wow. Really enjoyed the uniquely flavored and seriously funky tang of this stuff. There may be a fermented quality to the bamboo shoots, which reminded us both a bit of similar pickled/fermented Burmese dishes.
    > Thai Fried Rice with Pork - - Ordered off the standard menu. It was fine, had a nice little funk likely attributable to shrimp paste, but I'd probably save the stomach space for something else next time. The pork was dry and paled in comparison to the pork neck above.

    In D.C., where REB and I last lived, Thai food is uniformly sticky-sweet and extremely Americanized. It is really wonderful to have so many options for authentic Thai food here in Chicago.

    REB and I both think our dinner tonight was as good as our one meal at Spoon, but not quite up to the level of our many meals at TAC Quick. The flavors at TAC Quick seem to shine more brightly, with a wonderful balance of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet - - it's just right. That said, the prices are a bit more reasonable at Aroy, with everything we ordered in the $7 range. Moreover, I don't think that Aroy gets the crowds that TAC Quick does, and parking is certainly easier (no problem finding a free street spot around the corner). And, as mentioned above, Aroy has some dishes that aren't available elsewhere.

    We'll definitely be back before too long. Thanks for reviving the thread.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #18 - June 20th, 2009, 5:16 pm
    Post #18 - June 20th, 2009, 5:16 pm Post #18 - June 20th, 2009, 5:16 pm
    RAB wrote:
    In any event, dinner was quite good and very reasonably-priced. We somehow ended up with four pork dishes:



    As if that could somehow be a BAD thing (which I know is not your intent)! :)

    I'm just reminded of a Monty Python skit about another 4 letter meat(like) product . . .

    "...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and pork . . .
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #19 - June 20th, 2009, 6:18 pm
    Post #19 - June 20th, 2009, 6:18 pm Post #19 - June 20th, 2009, 6:18 pm
    stagger wrote:I should mention that the sausage I spoke of in that thread has not yet made it into the translated menu. I learned about it only due to the fact that I had ErikM., visiting from LA at our dinner. Of course, the staff was very gracious and interested in our feed back as not many non-Thai folks have had the dish. The point is that they knew we were coming and don't be upset with them if they don't instantly know what you are requesting. Just be patient and friendly. My understanding is that it is on the Thai language menu and the staff will be very happy to serve it if you can communicate what you want.

    The way the sausage translates is actually: mild pork-based sausage with rice and chopped bean thread noodles. (from Erik).

    I liked this sausage a lot and would urge people to give it a try. It would be a perfect gateway sausage for those put off by the tangier Issan version but should hold the interest of more experienced sausage eaters.

    Image

    Another standout from the meal, and I believe also new to Aroy's menu, was this sour soup with pork ribs. Haters of meat jello should check their prejudices at the door. I thought it was one of the most pleasing Thai soups I've had in a long time.

    Image

    My favorite dish at Aroy is Chinese broccoli stir fried with salted fish. This might be my favorite Asian vegetable dish anywhere in Chicago.

    Image

    I enjoy Aroy Thai every time I visit and am at a loss to explain why I don't go more often. I think it has finally made my short list.

    Aroy Thai
    4654 N Damen Av (steps from Brown Line Damen stop)
    Chicago
    773-275-8360
  • Post #20 - June 20th, 2009, 10:27 pm
    Post #20 - June 20th, 2009, 10:27 pm Post #20 - June 20th, 2009, 10:27 pm
    Aroy Thai is my go-to Thai restaurant since I live right across the street. Full disclosure- TAC Quick is still my favorite Thai restaurant in the city.

    Two other dishes that I think Aroy does really well are the pork omelette (I think it's much better, and richer than Spoon's version) and the basil ground pork with preserved duck eggs (similar to TAC's but they use chicken there instead). There's also a new pork rib appetizer that's on the specials board that is quite hearty and crunchy.
  • Post #21 - November 24th, 2009, 8:14 pm
    Post #21 - November 24th, 2009, 8:14 pm Post #21 - November 24th, 2009, 8:14 pm
    I fell in love with Aroy Thai today, where I was able to get something as funky and fantastic as Khanim Jiin Naam Ya with Luuk Chin, while my wife was able to get the best Penang curry either of has tasted in years. Without realizing the answer was just blocks from other favorites, we've spent years wishing we could find a place that served authentic dishes with serious funk and spice, along with well-prepared versions of Ameri-thai classics. We've been consistently disappointed with the milder noodle dishes and curries at TAC, Sticky Rice and Spoon.

    In addition to the very fishy, scorching-hot khanim jiin naam ya, I had a nice larb kai which was served warm with very fresh flavors and good spice. It didn't have the deeply roasted rice essence I love so much in Sticky Rice's version, but it definitely makes the Top 5 Chicago larbs list, which is high praise.

    Friendly people, nice decor (fantastic flower-themed artwork), and just steps away from the brown line stop... Aroy figures to become a staple in our dining rotation.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #22 - November 24th, 2009, 8:51 pm
    Post #22 - November 24th, 2009, 8:51 pm Post #22 - November 24th, 2009, 8:51 pm
    Interestingly, at a dinner a couple of weeks ago, when a visiting Thai cookbook author* asked the waitress if they had khanom jin, she recommended Aroy for it.

    * Cookbook is Thai, not the author.
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  • Post #23 - January 30th, 2011, 7:55 pm
    Post #23 - January 30th, 2011, 7:55 pm Post #23 - January 30th, 2011, 7:55 pm
    It had been almost 2 years since my last trip to Aroy, so I remedied that last week by eating there twice in 3 days. On Thursday night I joined some fellow LTHers who were kind enough to invite me to a group dinner they set up. Since there were 10 of us at that meal, we got to try a lot of dishes and many of them were excellent. In fact, they had such an impact, I couldn't stop thinking about several of them and felt compelled to return. So, on Saturday I decided to take the family there for lunch. Needless to say, the food on both occasions, most of it from the Thai Classics Menu, was terrific . . .

    Image
    Aroy Thai - 4654 N Damen, Chicago


    Image
    Isaan Sausage (northeastern style, lightly fermented rice and pork sausage)
    A really great rendition with a nice sour to savory ratio.


    Image
    Thai Wings
    Piping hot, crispy-skinned and perfectly cooked. I don't know if these were seasoned or marinated at all because they seemed a bit on the bland side but again, they were perfectly cooked and the sauce with which they were served (not pictured) was a funky-licious condiment.


    Image
    Grilled Pork Salad (grilled pork with chile, red onion, green onion and roasted rice powder)
    I absolutely loved this dish, which is like larb on steroids. It was tart, spicy, savory and full of great textural contrasts, too.


    Image
    Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup (sour and spicy rich soup with tender beef, beef ball and mushroom)
    I love Thai soups and this one may be the best I've ever had in Chicago. The broth was insanely flavorful, with a depth and richness that just blew me away. The meatballs and large pieces of ultra-tender beef were both excellent, too. Hell, even the mushrooms, which had absored quite a bit of the broth, were exceptional.


    Image
    Chou-Chi Ground Pork (sauteed ground pork with chou-chi curry paste and coconut milk atop crispy fried eggs)
    Another spectacular dish that really delivered varied and complex flavors and satisfying textures. It was plenty spicy, too even if I bit more so during the group dinner than the following lunch. I purposely didn't order it spicy at the lunch but I kind of wish I had. :wink:


    Image
    Duck Bamee Noodle (egg noodles, bean sprout, ground peanut topped with roasted duck -from regular menu)
    Nicely roasted duck and al dente noodles that were flavorful. My son ordered this at our lunch and I was so full from eating other items I only took a small taste of this.

    Other dishes we tried (from the Thursday night dinner):

    Image
    Northern-style larb (larb khun - Northern Thai-style, stir fried minced pork and offal)
    I've only ever had this dish before at Sticky Rice and I thought this version was much more enjoyable.


    Image
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    Khanom Jin Nam Ya (vermicelli noodles with a spicy herbal fish curry sauce)


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    Sai Ua Sausage (fried Northen Thai-style homemade red spicy sausage)
    A spicier and less sour sausage than the Isaan. Really great seasonings made this a distinctive, wonderful dish.


    Image
    Thai Bamboo with Green Chile Paste (stir fried pickled bamboo shoots with Northern Thai-style green chile paste...includes pork not on menu description)
    This dish, while delicious, was seriously challenging in that it had a very intensely funky aroma that was noticeable even from a few feet away. But it reminded me of Durian in that it tasted a lot better than it smelled. So glad I got to try it.


    Image
    Phat Phrik King Muu Krawp (chile paste with green beans and crispy pork)
    Loved the curry paste and the perfectly tender green beans, and I'm not even sure it needed the pork, which was more chewy than crispy.


    Image
    Chinese Broccoli with Salty Fish (stir fried, salty fish Thai chile)
    I liked the bitter Chinese broccoli here but wasn't wild about the fishy sauce. This is the one item of which I didn't completely finish the portion I took.


    Image
    Pork Hock and Basil (spicy, stir fried pork hock and basil leaves)
    By the time this one came around I was damned full but I really liked the flavor and texture of the pork, which was soft but not mushy at all.


    Image
    Ground Beef Noodle (stir fried wide rice noodles topped with ground beef, onion, tomato and light gravy)
    This was like a soupy pad see ewe that would have probably been great on its own. However, served after a bevy of more aggressive and assertive dishes, it kind of got lost in the crowd.

    If I learned one thing this past week it's that Aroy needs a place on my regular rotation. As much as I enjoy TAC Quick, Spoon Thai, Sticky Rice and Elephant Thai, Aroy really is worthy of a regular stop and I plan to make it just that. I'm really sorry that I let it fall off my radar and definitely won't make that error again.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #24 - January 30th, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Post #24 - January 30th, 2011, 8:55 pm Post #24 - January 30th, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Nothing like some Ronnie pix to drive folks to an oft-overlooked gem. Always glad to see Aroy get some love.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #25 - January 30th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    Post #25 - January 30th, 2011, 9:02 pm Post #25 - January 30th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    Beautiful pictures Ronnie. I really thought Thursday's meal at Aroy was outstanding. My favorite dishes were the Tom Yam soup and the ground pork atop fried eggs - two of the best Thai dishes I've enjoyed anywhere, and that Tom Yam ranks among the best soups I've ever tasted. The rest of the meal was excellent too, although I was not a fan of the ground beef noodles - a little gloppy and a tad too sweet for me, although I liked the texture of the noodles themselves. The Khanom Jin Nam Ya also didn't really excite me. I just didn't find the flavors assertive enough.

    As for the funky bamboo shoots, I liked them but particularly when eaten in conjunction with the pork and crispy egg dish, which was both savory and sweet. To me, these two dishes worked harmoniously together. On its own and without a savory and slightly sweet counterpart, the bamboo shoots might dominate the taste buds.

    I have a bad habit of ignoring Aroy (Sticky Rice for that matter too), merely because it's a few blocks longer walk than Spoon and Rosded, but Thursday's meal guaranteed that it will be in my regular Thai food rotation.
  • Post #26 - January 31st, 2011, 9:47 am
    Post #26 - January 31st, 2011, 9:47 am Post #26 - January 31st, 2011, 9:47 am
    Thanks for the great photos, Ronnie.

    I've become a huge fan of Aroy. Since Rich and I first went a year and a half ago, it's become our go-to Thai restaurant, even though it's a bit further from home than Sticky Rice and Spoon. I think that Aroy is more consistent than my other favorite Thai spots (TAC included), and that there are so many wonderful, unique dishes. Plus, the family that owns Aroy couldn't be much nicer - - and instead of convincing us to stick to the Ameri-Thai menu, they've always been encouraging about ordering more adventurous dishes.

    We've enjoyed sampling the Thai Classics menu, and our favorite dishes are among the photos Ronnie's shared. For anyone visiting Aroy for the first time without a crowd, I think the grilled pork salad and the beef tom yum are musts. Rich is a big fan of the chou-chi ground pork, which I was calling a Thai sloppy joe, but more accurately might be described as a Thai bolognese (IIRC, dansch should get credit for that apt label). It's rich, sweet, and spicy. The frizzly fried egg works well. My favorite dish is the funky pickled bamboo and green chile dish. It's not a delicate dish, and not one that I'd want a whole plate of for myself. But with the other dishes and a handful of sticky rice, it's a winner.

    When I go to TAC, I want the crispy on choy. When I go to Spoon, I want the nam khao thawt. What's great about Aroy is that they serve several dishes that I crave.

    Ronna
  • Post #27 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:16 am
    Post #27 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:16 am Post #27 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:16 am
    A few years ago I had a dismal Aroy meal with dismal dining companions. Its possible my disagreeable dining mates influenced my perception of the food, but in any case I have strenuously avoided Aroy since. In reading recent posts, and viewing Ronnie's pictures, it was evident an Aroy outing was in order.

    Lunch with agreeable dining companions was both pleasant and delicious, in particular Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup and Chou-Chi Ground Pork.

    Chou-Chi Ground Pork

    Image

    Loved the crisp lace of fried egg topped with "Thai Bolognese"

    Image

    Tom Yam Beef Ball and Tender Soup

    Image

    We thought we'd order something not discussed in the thread, picked Fried rice with pressed ham hoping it would be like Deep-Fried rice with Northern Thai “pressed ham” at Spoon Thai. Not similar at all, but Aroy's light clean flavored fried rice interspersed with veg, egg and enhanced with funky sour fermented Thai ham was a standout on its own.

    Image

    Gratuitous Sai Ua shot

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    Northern style Larp

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    Aroy Thai, count me a fan.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #28 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:36 am
    Post #28 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:36 am Post #28 - February 2nd, 2011, 12:36 am
    G Wiv wrote:We thought we'd order something not discussed in the thread, picked Fried rice with pressed ham hoping it would be like Deep-Fried rice with Northern Thai “pressed ham” at Spoon Thai. Not similar at all, but Aroy's light clean flavored fried rice interspersed with veg, egg and enhanced with funky sour fermented Thai ham was a standout on its own.
    I've done the same thing, hoping that the dish would be similar to Spoon's nam khao thawt. While it's not as wonderful as Spoon's rice dish, and not one of my favorite dishes at Aroy, it's a fine dish and one I'd happily order again.

    Glad you gave Aroy another try and enjoyed it.

    Ronna
  • Post #29 - February 2nd, 2011, 10:41 am
    Post #29 - February 2nd, 2011, 10:41 am Post #29 - February 2nd, 2011, 10:41 am
    First taken to Aroy by Erik M, it had been yrs since I'd been back (for no good reason, just off my radar). Won't make that mistake again. Been twice in the last wk. What I enjoy most are the amount of new dishes not in my Thai rotation. Thanks Ronna and Rich for showing me the way, again.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #30 - February 6th, 2011, 8:54 am
    Post #30 - February 6th, 2011, 8:54 am Post #30 - February 6th, 2011, 8:54 am
    I'm thankful for this thread, because Aroy has not yet created a takeout version of the Thai menu, so I've been using this and my poor memory to place delivery orders. That beef ball tom yum soup just might be the single best soup in all of Chicagoland, and I think even Hammond would agree that the pork neck salad is phenomenal. I recently discovered the beauty in adding a bit of fresh dill at home to the Khanim Jin Nam Ya order, and it really livens up what is already a wonderful curry.

    On average, Aroy takes about 20 minutes longer than Sticky Rice to get to my door. I love Sticky Rice, so it's a testament to how much I also love Aroy that I often choose it anyway.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food

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