GNR
    
Avatar

Charter Member
Web
What should men expect when out on the town?

How 'bout BYO so can than can pass around amongst themselves many various adult beverages such as quality local beers (Bell's Oberon went especially well with our meal the other day) and good bottles of whiskey. Yum Thai is agreeably BYO, with a decent liquor store down the block if needed.

How bout agreeably macho fare like squid salad, nearly inedibly hot due to a shower of thai chili's and garlic? Or raw shrimp. Steak, well at least in the form of salad, and other food's suited for he-man woman haters of all stripes.

Maybe I'm expressing too much hope in one meal, of a Yum comeback, but I'll always have a special place in my chow-heart for this place. After all, this is the original home of the "secret menu", and a validation of an international community of like-minded foodies when the secret menu went from restaurant to mysterious compatriot then resident in Vietnam, only known by the moniker "foodfirst (small f), back to the US and then typeset by another foodie more known by his handle, "Zim" then his birth name. There were some nice proto-Thai meals there, supplied by secret menu, but as things played out, it got supplemented by other houses and other secret menus. Over time, the other houses played a big better to our crowd, and Erik M, though obsessiveness and diligence, provided even better guidance. As other places provided the secret (authentic) experience we craved, the players at Yum Thai rather walked away from the market. More than a few of us found they did not especially enjoy serving us the secret menu. It detracted from the experience, and generally, the food just did not match such favorites as Thai Avenue or Aroy.

So, it has been, at least 2 years since I last visited Yum Thai, close to me in Forest Park, but for various reasons, it turned out to be a good choice for dinner on Friday, and following dinner on Friday, appears to be a good choice for dinner again before 2 years. In fact, as noted above, I think one of my future meals here should be with the Oak Park Boyz Club.

I'm not sure if there's a chance of management of staff at Yum Thai. As I said, it's been me gone for a while, not them, so what could I tell from the faces. Still, I did not recognize anyone. I did recognize all the menus, especially the long ago "secret" menu, complete with the typo's and questionable translations--after all, how much could foodfirst do from far away; Erik M actually burnished the translations, but the house seems to have tossed out that version for what I'd like to call, the authentic secret menu.

Only 2 of us, we did not have a lot of ordering power. We designed our meal for maximum effect of Yum classics: the squid salad, the one heavy with lime, bpaap or something like that, always a great dish of theirs; orange curry with shrimp (gang som), and pork with red chili paste and long beans. The first dish blew us away with, as noted above, nearly overwhelming heat and tartness. It countered nicely against the pork, which while hot had a strong dose of coconut sweetness. The orange curry mostly stayed in the middle. We finished with excellent Thai custard. After dinner, several members of the house came out to wish us bye and marvel that we actually ate the food. Who cannot want to have that again?

Listen up OPers, Ale House is where you take your family. Men eat raw Thai chili's for snacks.

Yum Thai - "Home of the Original Secret Menu"
7748 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130-1404
(708) 366-8888
_______________________________________

Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.

The Local Beet 2014 Guide to Chicagoland Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
Avatar

Moderator
Web
I've been keeper of the flame at Yum for the past several years - no real dip in my experience, if you see my posts in the other thread. We order once every two weeks; sausage is always fresh, papaya salad searing and garlicky when ordered right, tiny carrot egg rolls are at least a silver standard, and even for just a basic red curry it's a no-brainer. The only thing they occasionally screw up is the Crying Tiger, which I think is better when they have a stock ready for back-of-house consumption.
Avatar
I order from Yum maybe 3 or 4 times a year and I'm never disappointed.
I admit however that I stick to the Ameri-Thai side of the menu. I'm really interested to try the "secret" menu.
I'm totally up for a meeting.
_______________________________________

Avatar

Lead Moderator
Web
A change in management would be good news. I felt the same bad vibe that, oddly, seemed in inverse proportion to my enthusiasm for the place. I'd be willing to try again.
_______________________________________

“We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
Avatar
Haven't been to Yum in prolly two years. I'm totally game for a return.
_______________________________________

We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
Avatar
Hands down my favorite Thai joint in the Chicagoland area. Also, home of the BEST red curry and woon sen salad! There is a real stick in the mud that works there, however, find me place that doesn't have one on their staff. I brought quite a few of my coworkers here after a long work week and we had a blast. Thanks to the great liquor store a few steps away we arrived armed to the teeth.


Ohh yeah, WARNING --- DO NOT ask for your dish "very hot," unless you are ready for a real challenge and some firey bowel movements hours later. The ratio of dangerous, red curry to heaping spoonfuls of white rice was uncanny. Just saying.
Avatar
The Oak Park boys had dinner at this Forest Park restaurant. Don't know if it was the food or the company, but it was the best Thai Food I remember eating in a long time. Thanks Guys!
_______________________________________

When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
Avatar
Sorry that a last minute schedule change kept me from attending. I swung by late, but all of you were gone already.
Avatar

Honestly, I didn't really think they had left, as I mentioned a while back. While there have been at least three different ownerships since that first "secret" thai menu was translated, all the various ownerships have honored the menu - i think it's a double-edged sword for them - it's apparently fairly hard to translate those menus (as Eddie intimated and seems to be the case in the disagreements between ErikM's and Foodfirst's translations) but then they are somewhat forced to make the items, which are much more labor-intensive, though with some caveats - the orange "mon -style" curry has never really been as good as when Eddie's mom was in the kitchen, and for some reason one dish that they never have available is the eggplant salad.

I can't really comment on the service, as I invariably take out, but they've always been pleasant enough to me.
Avatar

Lead Moderator
dradeli wrote:The Oak Park boys had dinner at this Forest Park restaurant. Don't know if it was the food or the company, but it was the best Thai Food I remember eating in a long time. Thanks Guys!

This was indeed a great dinner. The dishes were bright, bold and distinctive, and they brought the heat in a major way. My favorites were the raw shrimp salad, the preserved egg dish, the pork larb and the papaya salad but everything we ate was at least really good. Below is a photo recap of the meal. Please, anyone who knows, fill in the blanks about what's what. In addition to the omissions, I'm sure I made some errors, as well . . .

Image
Yum Woonsen (glass noodle salad with shrimp)


Image
Bplaa-Myyk Ma-naow (sliced squid with lime-fish-garlic sauce)


Image
Yum Bplaa-Duk Foo ("exploded" catfish salad)


Image
Cold Beef Salad (not sure which one)


Image
Sai-Kroak ii-Saan (iisaan sausage, Thai Northeastern style)


Image
Gaeng Phet Bpet Yang (spicy roasted duck curry)


Image
Not sure about this one...looks like a soup but it I thought I heard it referred to at the table as a curry.


Image
Catfish Curry (not sure which one)


Image
Somtam with Preserved Black Crab (papaya salad)


Image
Soop Nor-Mai (preserved bamboo salad, Northeastern Thai)


Image
Thai Iced Coffee


Image
Muu Ping (grilled bbq pork Thai style)


Image
Laab Muu (pork larb)


Image
Muu Ma-naow (sliced pork with lime-fish-garlic sauce)


Image
Yum Kai Yiaw Maa (100 year old (black egg) salad)


Image
Goong Share Nam Bplaa (raw shrimp in fish-lime sauce)


Image
Khanom Maw Gaeng (rice flour cake topped with layer of custard - Phetburi City)


Image
The Check, page 1

I just can't say enough about how satisfying this meal was. I'll admit that given the location of the restaurant, my expectations were fairly low. However, after experiencing the intensity of the dishes that comprised this meal, I'm eager to return and try more items. I was pleased that we were asked if we wanted it hot and when we replied "yes," it was delivered unequivocally. Thanks again, to those who put this one together and did the bulk of the ordering.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
Avatar
Great pictures Ronnie.

Note that all of these dishes are on the "Thai" menu (the yellow placard). You have to ask for it specifically. I don't think the standard menu has any of this stuff on it.

The bamboo salad was the funkiest thing. Not for the weak of stomach. Preserved egg looked a bit odd, but tasted pretty much like unpreserved egg (good).

The "exploded" catfish was awesome. REALLY good.

Custard dessert thing didn't look like much but was tasty.

I was shocked how good the food was because I have been a couple times in the past year or so and found it decent, but not great.
_______________________________________

i used to milk cows
Avatar
After missing the Thursday evening outing, the wife and I were looking for somewhere to eat on Friday night, so we decided to give Yum Thai a try. I happened to ask the waitress if there was a large party of men there the night before, and she said yes, and mentioned that the group stayed until past 10pm even though "normal" closing time was 9pm.

We ordered off the "normal" menu, which in and of itself is a daunting task. There are 125+ items listed on the menu, so if you are coming in without having an idea of what you want just making a choice can take a little time.

We started with an order of Tempura Squid. It was a great dish. Perfectly battered and fried pieces of squid(calamari), sweet potatoes, green peppers, broccoli and zuchinni. On the side was a tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce that had some chili flake in it to give a little kick as well.

For dinner we had an order of Bankock Chicken and Garlic & Black pepper Squid. Both dishes were good. The Bankock chicken was a huge portion of fried chicken pieces along with small pieces of mixed vegtables (onion, pepper, carrot). It had a light sauce on it along the lines of a Thai sweet and sour. The heat built after eating enough of it. I am sure a request to make it hotter would be honored. The Squid was a dish of perfectly cooked, tender, squid, on a brownish garlic and black peppr sauce. It was also a dish in which the heat built up as you ate it. By the end you really needed the white rice to help cool the heat.

In order to feed the kids later, we also placed a carryout order to take home. A Massaman Red Curry w/chicken and an order of fried rice (about as adventurous as the daughter will get). I asked them to make the curry "hot", but not "too hot". When I got home I tried the curry and it was a really nice balanced red curry sauce with just the right amount of heat. The fried rice was nothing special, but I don't think it was expected to be.

Overall it was a really nice meal, and we will be going back. I'm not sure of the need for the "special" menu, although some of those dishes looked really good. There certainly is enough on the "regular" menu to keep one busy for a long time.
Avatar
thetrob wrote:I happened to ask the waitress if there was a large party of men there the night before, and she said yes, and mentioned that the group stayed until past 10pm even though "normal" closing time was 9pm.

I'm not sure of the need for the "special" menu, although some of those dishes looked really good. There certainly is enough on the "regular" menu to keep one busy for a long time.


I guess we finally got the hint when they busted out the vacuums and turned the bright lights on.

Trob, just ask for the special menu and try something off of it! :twisted:
_______________________________________

i used to milk cows
Avatar
Oh, I most definitely will.......
Avatar
teatpuller wrote:
thetrob wrote:I happened to ask the waitress if there was a large party of men there the night before, and she said yes, and mentioned that the group stayed until past 10pm even though "normal" closing time was 9pm.

I'm not sure of the need for the "special" menu, although some of those dishes looked really good. There certainly is enough on the "regular" menu to keep one busy for a long time.


I guess we finally got the hint when they busted out the vacuums and turned the bright lights on.

Trob, just ask for the special menu and try something off of it! :twisted:


Several in the group agreed that the regular menu offerings were totally competent, nothing spectacular, but the food from the Thai menu was fantastic. I didn't care for the funk of the bamboo shoot salad, and I found the sliced beef salad rather "meh," but everything else was far better than I thought it would be - given my longstanding history with the regular menu. My usual order was basically to settle into a red curry with no added sugar, a fat noodle dish, and something odd sounding - whatever caught my eye. From now on, I'm Thai menu only.

I still do long for the time waaaaay back in the day, when they had little fried egg rolls filled with ground meat, and bean threads that were liberally flecked with fresh ground black pepper inside. Those were fantabulous. They have a similar option on the menu these days, but they are nowhere near the same as they used to be. I'm talking ages ago, when Yum first opened. Yeah. I'm old.
_______________________________________

We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
Avatar
"Vital Information"]What should men expect when out on the town?


How bout agreeably macho fare like squid salad, nearly inedibly hot due to a shower of thai chili's and garlic? Or raw shrimp. Steak, well at least in the form of salad, and other food's suited for he-man woman haters of all stripes.

i couldn't care less about what you ate, or how macho the meal was. how can you, my good friend, VI, refer to 'he-man woman haters of all stripes". you may find it amusing, but substitute 'he-man jew haters', or he-man black haters', and then see how amusing it is. i know none of you are woman haters, so WTF is up with this subject line? i would appreciate it if SOMEONE WOULD CHANGE THE SUBJECT LINE. i am offended, and frankly don't care how many of you manly men now post about how it doesn't mean anything, can't i take a joke, and don't i have any sense of humor. the answer is: i have a find sense of humor: the subject line isn't funny.justjoan (i will admit that the fact that i am being eaten alive by bedbugs is making me crankier than usual, but i am seriously annoyed and disappointed that no one has commented on this)
Last edited by justjoan on July 18th 2011, 1:06pm, edited 1 time in total.
_______________________________________

in my red honda/i'm crossing the brooklyn bridge./it's but a short spam.
Avatar

Lead Moderator
Web
_______________________________________

“We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
Avatar

_______________________________________

I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
Avatar
David Hammond wrote:


While I am only one woman, I didn't take offense at the club title and assumed it had its origins in something like this. But the clip still made me smile--thanks :P
_______________________________________

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
Avatar

"Not sure if serious" Joker picture is appropriate right here...

Anyways, back to the food. I felt the same way about the "funk" in the bamboo salad. It was the only dish that I didn't finish my portion of. The papaya salad, on the other hand, was so good and so hot that I couldn't even eat anything for about 10 minutes after ingesting it. Both curries were amazing as well.

The 100/1000 year old egg was one of my favorites. Just the novelty of tasting a dish like this had me salivating as we ordered it and I'd definitely eat a whole order of it if I could :)

The only dish that was a miss for me was the soup. Not sure why, just wasn't feeling the strong... whatever ingredient that was in it that I can't think of right now :( It was overpowering to me even though I think that's the point of the dish...

Can't wait to go back. I'm hoping if I can lower the heat on some of the dishes I'll be able to get my wife to try some of the unique things we ate.
Avatar

Had Red Curry for lunch yesterday. Asking for it "hot" and "spicy" was nothing like asking for the special thai menu dishes hot.

It was still really good though!
Avatar

Charter Member
Web
Last night my wife wanted "comfort food", and noodles is about here comfortest of comfy foods. I'm always a bit hesitant to make a dinner of Thai noodles as I never quite feel satiated. I can say that last night's noodle episode left me quite satiated and also quite satisfied to the extreme.

We ordered two variations of stir fried wide noodles from the Thai menu: keemao and pad-si-u (spellings all mine). The pad-si-u was pretty good, but the keemao is what made the night. These were noodles almost like we've had in Bangkok. Of course, it was searingly "Thai hot", but what made the dish was the awesome amount of sugar that contrasted the heat. A real winner.

To fill out our stomachs we had the pork-lime salad pictured above. It verged on the inedible, so hot, but oh is it fun to be so close to that edge.
_______________________________________

Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.

The Local Beet 2014 Guide to Chicagoland Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
Avatar

I know I usually am on record defending yum thai after every downhill report, but recently I have been slightly disappointed by my meals. Besides the eggplant salad not being available (yam makrueua) the banana blossom was also not available. I've also on the last two visits noticed a lot more inconsistency - such as on one visit getting thai eggplants in the green curry with chicken and young coconut and on the other it being japanese eggplant. One thing, that has been consistent though is that there standard heat level does seem to be much higher than previously (which is not a bad thing at all, but should be considered when ordering off the thai menu)
Avatar
Dear Yum Thai Likers -
Planning a big dinner for a group at Yum. I'm gonna go to the place and chat with them and come up with a menu for the group - probably 12-ish ppl. Anything you can give as a tip on what to order? I'm talking specifics. I'm going to request dishes that can be hit or miss on availability off the thai menu and hopefully they will be able to source the ingredients for this dinner next month. I want to work with them to ensure they are ready to present the best that they can offer instead of showing up and ordering 20 things off of the menu. For starters, I'll be asking them for:
Chive dumpling
Fried Chicken (which they do not have on the menu, iirc)
banana blossom salad
Some form of beef salad, but I will insist that it be char grilled.
Some sausage dish
Catfish Curry
Exploded catfish salad
Papaya Salad
Duck curry
100 yr old egg
probably a chicken larb
And a few standard stir fried wide noodle dishes.

I also plan on pairing as much as I can with beers. I'm just in the planning stages right now, looking for ideas before going in there and telling them exactly what I want. This is a low key celebration dinner, and I'm guessing that 90% of the people coming have eaten there, but do not even know about the yellow menu. So, I'm not looking for ultimate funk, just the off the beaten path stuff that would appeal to all. I'm pretty sure I can put together a really good meal for this, looking for some other input cuz I forget all kinds of shit these days. Beer recs (sours especially) appreciated.
_______________________________________

We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
Avatar

Lead Moderator
seebee wrote:Beer recs (sours especially) appreciated.

Rodenbach Grand Cru (there's some newly-released 2009 stuff out there right now)
Duchesse de Bourgogne
Liefman's Goudenband
Timmermans Oude Gueuze

The first three of these are sours that also have a fair amount of sweetness. They're accessible and relatively easily-acquirable, too. I think they pair best with spicier food but if you're not going entirely in that direction, they should also pair very well. The Timmerman's is a bit funkier and less sweet. I really like it with spicy food. It's fairly easy to find, too.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
Avatar
ronnie_suburban wrote:Rodenbach Grand Cru (there's some newly-released 2009 stuff out there right now)

In Chicago you should be able to find three Rodenbach bottlings: Rodenbach, Rodenbach Grand Cru and Rodenbach Vintage. The first two are nonvintage blends of wood-aged and new beers. Grand Cru has a higher proportion of aged beer, and so is woodier, tarter and more expensive than the basic Rodenbach. The Vintage bottling consists of the aged beer exclusively, and so is woodier, tarter and more expensive than Grand Cru. Rodenbach Vintage 2008 is getting hard to find but as Ronnie says, the 2009 has recently become available. I don't think you'll find Grand Cru labeled with a year.
Avatar

Lead Moderator
Rene G wrote:
ronnie_suburban wrote:Rodenbach Grand Cru (there's some newly-released 2009 stuff out there right now)

In Chicago you should be able to find three Rodenbach bottlings: Rodenbach, Rodenbach Grand Cru and Rodenbach Vintage. The first two are nonvintage blends of wood-aged and new beers. Grand Cru has a higher proportion of aged beer, and so is woodier, tarter and more expensive than the basic Rodenbach. The Vintage bottling consists of the aged beer exclusively, and so is woodier, tarter and more expensive than Grand Cru. Rodenbach Vintage 2008 is getting hard to find but as Ronnie says, the 2009 has recently become available. I don't think you'll find Grand Cru labeled with a year.

Gotcha. Thank you, for the clarification.

=R=
_______________________________________

“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
Avatar
We had a party of 9 at Yum Thai just last night for my traditional Yum Thai birthday dinner.... everything was excellent, as usual. I noticed someone mentioning chive dumplings. I've been going there for well over 20 years and have never noticed them on either the regular or Thai menu. Are they called something else or can you order them special request? That's one item I always wished they'd carry.

Sounds like you have a great menu planned... enjoy:)!
Avatar
I've never seen or had chive dumplings at Yum, either. I'm gonna ask if they will make em special for us. I also wish they had those and a gai thawt ( fried chicken) on the menu.
_______________________________________

We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
Avatar

Charter Member
Web
Did a little re-con for you myself last night. It was a mixed party, so not all the dishes are worth talking about, but we had enough good too for Seebee planning help.

The last time we were there they did not have the exploded catfish salad. Last night, not only did they have it, but they seemed especially pleased that we ordered it. We asked for it hot, but we worked our way from the near in-edible hot we usually seek. It all worked great with crunchy stuff you would not really know was fish, slices of tart apple and a few stray Thai peppers.

A strong hand with mint helped the chicken laab last night, although as laab's go, it needs more rice powder. At least some of that rice powder, however, found itself in the potion that came along side the "jim" beef--surely something to consider for the beef dish you want.

Curries are not the strong suit, necessarily at Yum Thai since the new regime. They tend to be general, an overwhelming similar reddish, creamy sauce. You can, however, stray from this program with the orange "gang som" soupy curries like we did last night. You know, I think about what we had last night, and I think it could have used a bit more sour component, but I also know that so many of the salads there are super-sour, so would not worry too much.

We did not get last night, but Yum Thai's bamboo salad is one of the better versions. Your thoughts of egg salad are good too, by the way.

One last thing, for drink, I brought a bottle of Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noir. Not to brag :roll: :wink: but that's one hell of a good thing to have with the types of food at Yum Thai.
_______________________________________

Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.

The Local Beet 2014 Guide to Chicagoland Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
Chefs

Online Information

Users browsing this forum: Dlongs, jaholbrook, MSNbot Media, riddlemay, toria and 7 guests