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Thai Avenue--Solid

Thai Avenue--Solid
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  • Thai Avenue--Solid

    Post #1 - June 11th, 2007, 8:26 am
    Post #1 - June 11th, 2007, 8:26 am Post #1 - June 11th, 2007, 8:26 am
    Thai Avenue on Broadway has garnered a few glowing mentions on this board*, but lacks a comprehensive thread that explores a lot of what makes it great.

    An out-of-town guest, a friday night, and a six pack of beer made for a perfect occasion to stop in at Thai Avenue.

    Much of their menu is the standard noodles, curries, and simple Chinese-inspired stir fried dishes. The back of the menu contains "Thai Specialties" in a mixture of english and thai transliteration that help you explore a few of the more exotic offerings. There are also often table cards in thai and notes taped to the glass case in thai and english.

    During our visit on Friday, I saw only one sign taped to the case:

    Image

    I had an inkling that this was the same dish as naem pork ribs which I've enjoyed at TAC and Dharma Garden. I was correct:

    Image

    Each time I've had this dish, they've been a little better. The meat is marinated, soured, and deep-fried to create a sour, chewy, meaty riblet. These were the best example I've had: funky and addictive and great with a cold beer.

    We thoroughly enjoyed a couple other dishes that Thai Avenue does extremely well:

    Curry Puffs
    Image
    These are akin to a Thai samosa. Flaky crust filled with potato and spices. Cookie insists on ordering them whenever we eat there.

    Thai Grilled Chicken
    Image
    Simple and fantastic. One of Thai Avenue's best.

    Thai Avenue
    4949 N. Broadway
    773-878-2222

    Best,
    Michael

    * A couple other Thai Avenue links (no longer containing photos):
    Kuay Tiaw Pet Pa Low at Thai Avenue
    Khao Man Kai at Thai Avenue
  • Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 5:18 pm
    Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 5:18 pm Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 5:18 pm
    Well, Michael, I may not be down with your coffee suggestions, but Thai Avenue, for sure. A trip yesterday reaffirmed it as one of my favorites.

    One of the things that makes Thai Avenue a family favorite is their lunch special. It gives the tykes the ideal thing to offer. I mean a lot of times at Thai places, like for instance, Yum Thai in Forest Park, we fill so much of the bill with stuff for them, there's little room for all the stuff Dad likes.

    Typically, at Thai Avenue, all the girls (Mom too) get lunch specials, and then Dad orders a few things and we kinda share kinda not--daughter #2 avoids most of my dishes. This is all possible because the overall price of dishes at Thai Avenue is quite reasonable, and the overall quality is so good, even for the lunch specials. When a good deal of the Thai customers (a good deal of Thai Avenue's clientele) stick with the lunch specials, you know its good food. None of this two kitchen problem.

    My primary problem is not enough visits, so we tend to stick with the same ordering: Northern style laab, wet with pork and pork offal*, bamboo salad done eat fire style and fried chicken. We did have to get those ribs pictured above, and they were as good as described. I do need to try the curry puffs though. This place is in the top tier as far as I can tell.

    *There was good news and bad news for the kidz with this dish yesterday. I said, which do you want first. My wife says, "I always want the bad news first." So, I say, "they're out of pork skin for the laab." My kidz say, well, what's the good news, and I say...
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #3 - July 11th, 2007, 5:34 pm
    Post #3 - July 11th, 2007, 5:34 pm Post #3 - July 11th, 2007, 5:34 pm
    Twice now I have passed on the pork ribs...I hope not to do so a third time.

    Anywho, Thai Avenue is between my house and the Argyle El' Stop so I used to eat there quite often...I recently started taking the train more regularly again, due to schedule changes and gas prices.

    I ate at Thai Avenue on Monday evening. I was going to try the new Pho place, but it was closed for vacation...along with Sun Wah another, favorite.

    I went a bit outside my regulars by ordering the Nam Klug, a rice "salad" with crunchy bits of hard cooked rice, hot peppers and thai ham (not sure what ham was used). I have had this dish before, although a bit salty, it is one of my comfort foods.

    My "first time" dish was beef salad. This was quite good, many hunks of grilled beef, plenty of spice without being overwhelming. I also saw apple salad on the "Thai Specialties" back menu. I was told that it was made like Papaya salad, but with apple...maybe next time. And, there will be a next time.

    pd
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #4 - October 31st, 2007, 3:53 pm
    Post #4 - October 31st, 2007, 3:53 pm Post #4 - October 31st, 2007, 3:53 pm
    Any recent experiences with Thai Avenue?

    My wife and I went for lunch today and found it signficantly below usual, so much so that I inquired if the place had been sold--out usual waitress, the manager it turns out, was in Thailand (as it turns out); I'm not sure if that mattered. The stuff just seemed phoned in.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #5 - October 31st, 2007, 4:07 pm
    Post #5 - October 31st, 2007, 4:07 pm Post #5 - October 31st, 2007, 4:07 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Any recent experiences with Thai Avenue?


    Cookie and I were there for lunch last weekend. Curry puffs, grilled chicken, and a noodle soup (I forget which one since I mostly focused on the chicken). It was a very nice lunch, as usual.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #6 - January 23rd, 2008, 12:13 pm
    Post #6 - January 23rd, 2008, 12:13 pm Post #6 - January 23rd, 2008, 12:13 pm
    Is it tacky to ask for the Thai menu and then ask the waitress for translations?

    I had read Erik M's post on another thread about a duck in rice noodle soup at Thai Avenue and went there determined to have some for myself. I asked for the Thai menu after committing the name of the dish from Erik's translations to memory, only to see that it had a totally different format than the translation he had listed, so it must have been updated. Nonetheless, I was able to describe the dish to the waitress and had a really tasty meal. Any updated translations of or recommendations from the Thai language menu at Thai Avenue?
  • Post #7 - March 14th, 2011, 11:03 pm
    Post #7 - March 14th, 2011, 11:03 pm Post #7 - March 14th, 2011, 11:03 pm
    As much as I enjoy several other Thai restaurants, Thai Avenue is my favorite. The Nam Klug, Chicken Larb, Nam Tok and Papaya Salad are always on the must order list. They are not afraid to bring the heat or tone it down for the uninitiated. Pleasant surroundings, friendly service, and BYO. It's every thing I'm looking for in a neighborhood restaurant.
  • Post #8 - April 24th, 2014, 10:45 am
    Post #8 - April 24th, 2014, 10:45 am Post #8 - April 24th, 2014, 10:45 am
    necro-bump

    I've been crunched for time and on a takeout/delivery binge. Craving thai food, I decided to try something close by and different than the usual favorites. Thai fried chicken was the clear winner of the bunch lots of places do good versions of this dish and I won't try to rank them but it was juicy and servced with a smokey sauce with great kick. It is also the only thing I could reccomend without reservations. Larb Neua was the runner up and had some decent funk but suffered from being overcooked/dry, underseasoned, and worst of all served with lifeless iceburgh lettuce in place of something still and with crunch. Pork neck was better in the flavor balancing department but was undercooked resulting in tough pieces without the grilled character that defines the cut...and again limp lettuce.

    There are a few more things to try on their menu and you can definitely get actual Thai food here but it will probably be a while before I return if only because there are so many good Thai options and I just don't eat Thai food that often.
  • Post #9 - April 24th, 2014, 12:47 pm
    Post #9 - April 24th, 2014, 12:47 pm Post #9 - April 24th, 2014, 12:47 pm
    AlekH wrote:necro-bump

    I've been crunched for time and on a takeout/delivery binge. Craving thai food, I decided to try something close by and different than the usual favorites. Thai fried chicken was the clear winner of the bunch lots of places do good versions of this dish and I won't try to rank them but it was juicy and servced with a smokey sauce with great kick. It is also the only thing I could reccomend without reservations. Larb Neua was the runner up and had some decent funk but suffered from being overcooked/dry, underseasoned, and worst of all served with lifeless iceburgh lettuce in place of something still and with crunch. Pork neck was better in the flavor balancing department but was undercooked resulting in tough pieces without the grilled character that defines the cut...and again limp lettuce.

    There are a few more things to try on their menu and you can definitely get actual Thai food here but it will probably be a while before I return if only because there are so many good Thai options and I just don't eat Thai food that often.

    I'm occasionally lured in to Thai Avenue for the very same reasons Alek, and I always come away feeling the same way as you - close but no cigar. Certainly, if you don't want to make it over to Lincoln Square or elsewhere, you can get some pretty good Northern Thai dishes here, but it's always a case of some good, some bad.

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