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Trying old and new menu items at TAC Quick [pics]

Trying old and new menu items at TAC Quick [pics]
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  • Trying old and new menu items at TAC Quick [pics]

    Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 5:23 pm
    Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 5:23 pm Post #1 - November 1st, 2004, 5:23 pm
    I would have just tacked (no pun intended) this on to the recent TAC thread but it has a number of pics so I wouldn't have been able to tag that, when it's the main purpose of this post. In any case, lunch at TAC was proposed today, for the purpose of trying a few of the new items that Erik had mentioned were on the menu in that thread, such as the fifth item down, the boar curry.

    Image

    The party consisted of GWiv and also the ever congenial Steve Z., or Z1 as I like to call him. As he came in a few minutes late and plopped a couple of Ziploc bags onto the table, I noticed folks at another table amused to see that our opinion of the restaurant was so high, we had actually brought our own food to eat.

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    It was brisket which Z1, the purple-jacketed one, had smoked himself the night before under the email tutelage of GWiv. Like a jeweler examining smuggled diamonds, GWiv immediately set to work examining the quality of the finished product. Good smoke ring... clean flavor... sliced against the grain... a little solid, that could be that it needed another hour on the fire or it could just be because it's cool, but well within the range... a final decisive test was needed.

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    "There are people who have been smoking brisket for five years who'd kill to have made this," pronounced GWiv. As we all tasted it, he offered some to our waitress as well, but it turned out she didn't eat beef.

    On to the Thai food, and some terrible news: they were out of the boar curry after the weekend. (Despite the solemn promise made by the sign board.) So with some hemming and hawing, we ordered some other items.

    Image

    First up was Issan sausage, sai krok issan, coarse sausages expertly grilled. Not quite as pungent as the ones I'd had Friday at Sticky Rice, or the similar ones at Spoon, but with an admirable rough texture and, fresh off the heat at least, completely delectable.

    Image

    Next up was Kao Mok Kai Yang, also from the sign board, and I must admit to some trepidation that grilled chicken over rice was going to be nothing more impressive than, say, mall food court teriyaki. The picture doesn't look like much, but wow-- succulent burnt grilled chicken over incredibly flavorful curry rice, reminiscent more of Burmese or Indonesian than Thai cooking, giving off wave after wave of turmeric and other curry flavors, yet delicate rather than overpowering. Between the three of us we finished off both the chicken and the rice in a few minutes, and would have happily ordered it a second time, right then and there.

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    But we knew pork neck was on the way. Here were savory hunks of freshly grilled pork which we dotted with a mildly hot sauce. Having gone 3 for 3 now, I am prepared to say that TAC ranks at the very top among Thai restaurants for grilled foods. No dried-out chicken satay jerky here, every piece seemed done to juicy, burnt-edged perfection.

    Image

    Two more dishes followed. I don't have a new picture of the gang som (sour curry) with chao om omelet in it, but I know it's been written about before. I was responsible for ordering it based on having had it before, but when it came I remembered that I hadn't really liked it that much the first time, compared to Spoon's, a little too mouth-puckering in its use of heavy-duty tamarind. But the Phat Phak ka-naa muu krawp (Chinese broccoli stir-fried w/crispy pork) was another standout, a dish that tasted mainly of soy sauce, your grandma might even like it save for the green chili slices in it, yet had those succulent little nuggets of fat in it to raise it above the ordinary.

    Well, we didn't get to try everything we wanted, but everything we tried was wonderful (almost). New menu or old, TAC Quick remains one of the finest Thai restaurants in town, committed to authentic ingredients, bright flavors, handsome presentation and not being freaked out when people who've come for lunch bring their own food.

    T.A.C. Quick Thai Kitchen
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    773.327.5253
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  • Post #2 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:20 am
    Post #2 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:20 am Post #2 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:20 am
    Mike,

    Wonderful lunch, my first time trying Kao Mok Kai Yang and I thought the dish exceptional. The pork neck was excellent as well, tender succulent pork, with the occasional resistance of texture laden gristle just to let you know you weren't eating pork tenderloin.

    I've enjoyed each and every meal I've had at TAC, and am looking forward to trying Boar Curry and Orange Tamarind curry with water spinach and pork belly, both of which they were out of, next time. I, briefly, said hello to Andy, chef/owner, and he said they had been quite busy over the weekend and would have both dishes available later in the week.

    Previous pictures I've taken at TAC can be found Here

    By the way, I was not BSing about Z1's brisket, really very good, outstanding for just about any BBQ man, much less a first effort.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #3 - November 2nd, 2004, 12:43 pm
    Post #3 - November 2nd, 2004, 12:43 pm Post #3 - November 2nd, 2004, 12:43 pm
    Thanks for the great pics! I can't wait to try the dishes--too bad they're closed today!
  • Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:48 pm
    Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:48 pm Post #4 - November 2nd, 2004, 10:48 pm
    Mike G wrote:I would have just tacked (no pun intended) this on to the recent TAC thread but it has a number of pics so I wouldn't have been able to tag that, when it's the main purpose of this post. In any case, lunch at TAC was proposed today, for the purpose of trying a few of the new items that Erik had mentioned were on the menu in that thread, such as the fifth item down, the boar curry.


    It is just as well that you didn't, Mike, as the items I mentioned were not on any menu, when I tried them. The point of my post was to alert readers to the fact that Andy was considering a number of dishes for inclusion on the new Thai language menu. Your post and your photos are a testament to the fact that Andy is now openly auditioning a few of these items.

    On a night when our heads are swimming with red states and blue states, this may seem like a minor quibble, I know. Nevertheless, there it is, and just-for-the-record.

    At any rate, with this being a stressful night and all, here is a joke for you:

    "Andy's version of seua rawng hai* kills."

    Oh, wait. You may not find that funny. I know that I certainly don't.



    Regards,
    Erik M.



    * Refer back to your photo of the "Chef's Special" board. It is the fourth item listed from the top. :twisted:
  • Post #5 - November 7th, 2004, 10:50 pm
    Post #5 - November 7th, 2004, 10:50 pm Post #5 - November 7th, 2004, 10:50 pm
    Saturday evening we went to TAC for the first time after a wonderful afternoon wandering around SOFA at Navy Pier. If you have never been, SOFA is a marvelous art show.

    Thanks To Eric for giving me a great selection of dishes for our dinner. The food was outstanding.

    We had khaw muu yaang (grilled pork neck, juicy, tender, and delicious), phat phet muu paa (wonderful wild boar curry stir fried with great vegetables, Thai eggplants, green beans, and red peppers), kra-phrao krawp kai khai yiaw mua (crispy basil and minced chicken over preserved egg - what an awesome dish), and kuay tiaw khua kai (wide rice noodles with squid). And the girls also wanted satay and egg rolls, of course.

    Another evening when we could not believe what a fantastic meal we had for so little money.

    Not only BYOB, but also no corkage fee. We had a delicious 2001 Failla 'Keefer Ranch' Pinot Noir from the Green Valley of the Russian River area of Sonoma. Sour cherry, rose petal, clove and anise; nice body, but not over the top. Especially nice with the pork neck and wild boar.

    Very friendly service. We felt bad for the poor waitress who had the whole room to herself and was run ragged. Be prepared to hunt for parking in the neighborhood.

    Can't wait to go back and try more dishes. Eric had about a dozen dishes listed as don't miss on his translated menu and we didn't even get to any of those.

    Best,
    Al
  • Post #6 - November 13th, 2004, 3:11 pm
    Post #6 - November 13th, 2004, 3:11 pm Post #6 - November 13th, 2004, 3:11 pm
    I had the wild boar pad ped last night and it was delicious. I felt they could have been a little more generous with the meat, but that's my only complaint about it. The curry was perfectly spicy.

    My friend had the pineapple fried rice, which had wonderful sweet and curry aromas and flavors, but I would like it more as a side than an entree.
  • Post #7 - November 13th, 2004, 3:29 pm
    Post #7 - November 13th, 2004, 3:29 pm Post #7 - November 13th, 2004, 3:29 pm
    Mike G wrote:But the Phat Phak ka-naa muu krawp (Chinese broccoli stir-fried w/crispy pork) was another standout, a dish that tasted mainly of soy sauce, your grandma might even like it save for the green chili slices in it, yet had those succulent little nuggets of fat in it to raise it above the ordinary.


    The Chinese broccoli stir-fried w/crispy pork was among my favs at TAC, too. I usually eat the hard little chicharrones (with a strip of meat) out of hand, kind of like corn-nuts, and I'm honestly not sure I've had this type of chicharrone actually cooked into a dish. When cooked, the lard lumps soften a little and loose much of their tooth-breaking potential while still remaining crisp enough to add a pleasing dimension to the texture and taste of the dish.

    Hammond
  • Post #8 - November 19th, 2004, 6:32 pm
    Post #8 - November 19th, 2004, 6:32 pm Post #8 - November 19th, 2004, 6:32 pm
    I had my first TAC Quick experience at lunch today--it won't be my last. First of all. once you're inside, you realize how clean it is and that it was put together with a nice sense of design. The server was very pleasant, and when I told her that I had been reading about TAC on the LTHForum, she immediately brought us the other menu.

    My friend and I ordered four dishes: pork neck, Issan sausage, and wild boar pad ped, and from the regular menu, panang with tofu. I don't know if I ordered smartly (made the best choices) or not, but this meal was nothing like any other Thai food I've had. Even the Panang, which I've had in almost every Thai restaurant I've been to, was like a different dish. They were all excellent, but especially the pork neck; my companion said that next time he wanted an order just for himself.

    My only complaint: the surronding neighborhood is all zoned with that damn restricted parking. It must be hell to find a space in the evening; this would not help their business, I would think.

    So, thanks to those of you on this board who have been discussing TAC and raving about it. I join your ranks.
  • Post #9 - December 2nd, 2004, 12:22 am
    Post #9 - December 2nd, 2004, 12:22 am Post #9 - December 2nd, 2004, 12:22 am
    bringing it back to top cuz i STILL love this place...

    i ordered the Kao Mok Kai Yang on the 'special' menu board as well. upon arrival, i pitched it over to the gf cuz i also figured: grilled chicken over curry fried rice, "PASS". but damn, it was good... the fried rice was just curry enough and the chicken was perfectly marinated.

    the wild board pad ped was really gamey and the thick curry complimented rice so excellently. But as previous poster stated, they skimped on the meat...

    i must have the sour curry w/ the chaom omelete in it for the next visit. been staring at that menu line for months... also, they still have the fried preserved duck egg / basil chicken dish which i LOOOOOVED on the mnu, hopefully they won't take it out any time soon.
  • Post #10 - July 21st, 2005, 8:11 pm
    Post #10 - July 21st, 2005, 8:11 pm Post #10 - July 21st, 2005, 8:11 pm
    A small group of LTHers accompanied petit pois and myself last night to TAC to present their 2005-06 Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award.

    We had yet another in a long line of excellent meals at TAC.

    Their outstanding Thai fried chicken was accompanied by a new sauce, with lime juice replacing tamarind. It's hard to say which I like better since both sauces are delicious. I definitely enjoyed the brightness of the lime with the chicken.

    Other great dishes in our first round included the outstanding beef nam tok, issan sausage, fish maw salad, and papaya salad (one with salted crab and one with shrimp).

    Beef Nam Tok
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    A couple things off the specials board included a clam omelet and the hoy tod. After we ate, it was pointed out that the hoy tod is served two different ways: with the mussels incorporated into the batter and fried crispy, or with the batter fried separately leaving the mussels uncovered. We had it the second way, and while it was excellent, the "crispy" description made me want the first style even more:

    Hoy Tod
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    trixie-pea introduced us to a soup she had for lunch once at TAC: Pork (three ways) Tom Yum with rice noodle. Ground pork, BBQ pork, and pork dumplings are served in a hot & sour broth with rice noodle. An outstanding, comforting soup that I think I personally would have enjoyed even more with a less assertive broth.

    Pork Tom Yum
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    By the time the boat noodles arrived, the richness of the broth was actually a bit off-putting to me, but only due to the fact that I was getting near my limit.

    Boat Noodles
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    There was a lot more food, and as usual, I left very, very happy.

    Andy seemed genuinely pleased and honored to receive the award and I was all the more honored to present it:

    Image

    It found a great spot in the window almost immediately:

    Image

    Many thanks to G Wiv for the photography and the others who joined us for a great feast at TAC. I can't think of a place that deserves the title "Great Neighborhood Restaurant" more.

    Best,
    Michael / EC
  • Post #11 - July 21st, 2005, 11:03 pm
    Post #11 - July 21st, 2005, 11:03 pm Post #11 - July 21st, 2005, 11:03 pm
    That's wonderful! Great photos, too!

    What's in the Boat Noodles, by the way?
  • Post #12 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:35 am
    Post #12 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:35 am Post #12 - July 22nd, 2005, 1:35 am
    eatchicago wrote:Andy seemed genuinely pleased and honored to receive the award and I was all the more honored to present it:

    As Michael said, Andy seemed genuinely pleased to receive the LTHForum GNR award. Me, I was genuinely pleased to have a wonderful meal at TAC in the company of LTHers.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - July 22nd, 2005, 8:18 am
    Post #13 - July 22nd, 2005, 8:18 am Post #13 - July 22nd, 2005, 8:18 am
    I have just learned through browsing and searching, that the pork soup that trixie-pea recommended is Kuay Tiaw Tom Yam, introduced in this thread by Erik M.

    BumbleBee wrote:What's in the Boat Noodles, by the way?


    "Boat Noodles", or kuay tiaw reua, is a richly-flavored beef soup and thin rice noodle soup, commonly flavored with blood. It contained large chunks of beef and what was very likely tendon. It is displayed and discussed in this thread.

    Best,
    Micahel / EC

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