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  • Post #91 - October 14th, 2011, 9:47 pm
    Post #91 - October 14th, 2011, 9:47 pm Post #91 - October 14th, 2011, 9:47 pm
    We've had a hankering for Thai for a while, so it was either a short trip to Lai Thai in Morton Grove, or a longer drive to one of the Thai GNRs we haven't hit yet, Aroy or TAC Quick.

    Based on Ronnie's photos above, I decided on Aroy. I regret the hour plus rush-hour drive not in the least -- this was a fantastic meal.
    Seeing that almost everyone in the room is Asian, probably Thai, doesn't so much point out the quality or authenticity since Spoon is still top notch -- it's more a matter that the general public haven't caught on yet. The fact that we had to ask specifically for the Thai Classics menu is a small notch against them, along with the impression I got that the Thai-speaking folk got served faster -- not that we waited long, and service was entirely responsive and friendly -- but it sure seemed like the folks on either side of us had food much more quickly than I would expect in a restaurant.

    We ordered the Sai Ua sausage, Tom Yum with Beef Balls, the Pork Larb (not the northern, we're just not offal fans) and just to round it out, Panang Curry with chicken.

    The Sai Ua sausage is amazing: a little sour and spicy, great crisp skin, and a big hit of ginger. Love the peanuts, ginger cubes and chile slices along with it.

    The Tom Yum with Beef Balls and Tender was like the perfect blend of the best Tom Yum I've had (Lotus of Siam in Vegas) and Pho: lemongrass and star anise flavors with lots of heat and sour you don't get in Pho. The beef, mushrooms and meatballs were nicely done.

    Pork Larb was a great example of the genre (although I usually expect a bit more veg in something called a salad -- only a slice of cabbage here). Sweet, salty, sour and spicy, right flavors. I think Spoon's Pork Neck version is a little better.

    After the intensity of the Tom Yum and Larb, the Panang seemed a little cloyingly sweet. Really, it's a good version, but nothing special. Stick to the Thai Classics menu.

    I'd be happy to go back. Tomorrow. Thankfully, I've got leftovers of all four dishes, and $37 before tip is a bargain.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #92 - October 14th, 2011, 11:04 pm
    Post #92 - October 14th, 2011, 11:04 pm Post #92 - October 14th, 2011, 11:04 pm
    JoelF wrote:We've had a hankering for Thai for a while, so it was either a short trip to Lai Thai in Morton Grove, or a longer drive to one of the Thai GNRs we haven't hit yet, Aroy or TAC Quick.

    Based on Ronnie's photos above, I decided on Aroy. I regret the hour plus rush-hour drive not in the least -- this was a fantastic meal.
    Seeing that almost everyone in the room is Asian, probably Thai, doesn't so much point out the quality or authenticity since Spoon is still top notch -- it's more a matter that the general public haven't caught on yet. The fact that we had to ask specifically for the Thai Classics menu is a small notch against them, along with the impression I got that the Thai-speaking folk got served faster -- not that we waited long, and service was entirely responsive and friendly -- but it sure seemed like the folks on either side of us had food much more quickly than I would expect in a restaurant.

    We ordered the Sai Ua sausage, Tom Yum with Beef Balls, the Pork Larb (not the northern, we're just not offal fans) and just to round it out, Panang Curry with chicken.

    The Sai Ua sausage is amazing: a little sour and spicy, great crisp skin, and a big hit of ginger. Love the peanuts, ginger cubes and chile slices along with it.

    The Tom Yum with Beef Balls and Tender was like the perfect blend of the best Tom Yum I've had (Lotus of Siam in Vegas) and Pho: lemongrass and star anise flavors with lots of heat and sour you don't get in Pho. The beef, mushrooms and meatballs were nicely done.

    Pork Larb was a great example of the genre (although I usually expect a bit more veg in something called a salad -- only a slice of cabbage here). Sweet, salty, sour and spicy, right flavors. I think Spoon's Pork Neck version is a little better.

    After the intensity of the Tom Yum and Larb, the Panang seemed a little cloyingly sweet. Really, it's a good version, but nothing special. Stick to the Thai Classics menu.

    I'd be happy to go back. Tomorrow. Thankfully, I've got leftovers of all four dishes, and $37 before tip is a bargain.

    Coincidentally, I was at Aroy on Thursday night and had a great meal. I hadn't been there since late August and was really craving it. We had considered possibly eating somewhere else but once Aroy was suggested, I got so locked in on the idea, I simply could not be pulled off it. On this night, a post-Whistler meal of Thai Fried Wings, Isaan and Sai Ua Sausage, Chou-Chi Pork, Grilled Pork Neck Salad, Som Tum with Blue Crab, and the ever-awesome Tom Yum Soup with Beef Ball and Beef Tender (to name a few) were right on the mark. Service was as efficient and friendly as ever. Not only do I love Aroy but I find it to be remarkably consistent.

    As Joel suggests, I stick to the Thai Classics menu. I'm sure there are worthy items on the standard menu but in all my visits I don't remember ever venturing in that direction. Maybe someday . . . :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    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 #93 - October 15th, 2011, 8:47 am
    Post #93 - October 15th, 2011, 8:47 am Post #93 - October 15th, 2011, 8:47 am
    JoelF wrote:Pork Larb was a great example of the genre (although I usually expect a bit more veg in something called a salad -- only a slice of cabbage here).

    Don't think of Thai salads as being anything like the western definition of salads. The absence of cabbage/lettuce is traditiional.

    JoelF wrote:After the intensity of the Tom Yum and Larb, the Panang seemed a little cloyingly sweet. Really, it's a good version, but nothing special. Stick to the Thai Classics menu.

    I typically find the Panang curries to be too sweet, even though a Panang curry paste is not at all sweet. That being said, the sweetness can nicely complement a meal of very spicy, sour and bitter flavors so take that into account. Also, if you remain a big fan of the Panang curry but want to address the sweetness, just order it extra spicy, Thai spicy or "phet phet" . . . your issues with sweetness should vanish.

    As for the "other" side of the menu, I've been impressed with a number of Aroy's offerings, including the phat kee mao and green curry. I wouldn't assume that Aroy is only skilled with respect to the Thai classics menu.
  • Post #94 - October 15th, 2011, 8:58 am
    Post #94 - October 15th, 2011, 8:58 am Post #94 - October 15th, 2011, 8:58 am
    Does Aroy offer a translated version of its Thai menu?
  • Post #95 - October 15th, 2011, 9:08 am
    Post #95 - October 15th, 2011, 9:08 am Post #95 - October 15th, 2011, 9:08 am
    YourPalWill wrote:Does Aroy offer a translated version of its Thai menu?

    Yes - it will almost certainly be given to you when you're seated.
  • Post #96 - October 15th, 2011, 9:42 am
    Post #96 - October 15th, 2011, 9:42 am Post #96 - October 15th, 2011, 9:42 am
    BR wrote:
    YourPalWill wrote:Does Aroy offer a translated version of its Thai menu?

    Yes - it will almost certainly be given to you when you're seated.

    I had to ask for it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #97 - October 15th, 2011, 9:43 am
    Post #97 - October 15th, 2011, 9:43 am Post #97 - October 15th, 2011, 9:43 am
    BR wrote:
    YourPalWill wrote:Does Aroy offer a translated version of its Thai menu?

    Yes - it will almost certainly be given to you when you're seated.

    It wasn't to Joel, but maybe that was a glitch.

    I'm glad to hear what you say, BR, because we're eating more Thai lately and I've been hankering to go to Aroy--but am generally inhibited from going to places where I have to ask for a "special menu."
  • Post #98 - October 15th, 2011, 10:10 am
    Post #98 - October 15th, 2011, 10:10 am Post #98 - October 15th, 2011, 10:10 am
    Last time I was there I had to ask for the Thai menu. This doesn't bother me in the least. Why should it? Service was friendly and efficient. Food was excellent. Better than spending 300 bucks at a gastropub in a more fashionable neighborhood any way you slice it.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #99 - October 15th, 2011, 10:30 am
    Post #99 - October 15th, 2011, 10:30 am Post #99 - October 15th, 2011, 10:30 am
    YourPalWill wrote:Does Aroy offer a translated version of its Thai menu?

    It is entirely translated and also laminated, just like their standard menu. If they don't initially give it to you, just ask. They don't withhold it. I think they just can't believe that non-Thais are actually interested in it, though that is changing somewhat.

    Also, I posted pics of the entire Thai Classics menu upthread. Here's a link to that post:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 61#p361461

    Enjoy,

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    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 #100 - October 15th, 2011, 10:41 am
    Post #100 - October 15th, 2011, 10:41 am Post #100 - October 15th, 2011, 10:41 am
    I really can't get enough of this place. Its my fav Thai both in Chicago and NYC (where I travel back/forth every week). Love it, and the host (the owner's son, I believe) always remembers what I had the last visit and encourages me to try various new things. Both in friendliness and cooking, they're the best.
  • Post #101 - October 15th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Post #101 - October 15th, 2011, 11:31 am Post #101 - October 15th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Habibi wrote:Last time I was there I had to ask for the Thai menu. This doesn't bother me in the least. Why should it?

    Assuming the question isn't rhetorical, I'll tell you why it bothers me. I get a signal that I'm not as welcome to enjoy certain dishes as other patrons are.

    Now, I totally realize that "unwelcoming" may not be the intended communication. The restaurant may, and probably often is, merely doing what it thinks is hospitable--placing a menu before the customer that the restaurant thinks the customer is more likely to enjoy. I get that. But I still would like it better if all patrons received the same menu.

    (Somewhat inconsistently, I'm totally in favor of the restaurant giving me that menu in its English translation, so I do support their making certain assumptions about me. :) )

    Looking forward to trying Aroy.
  • Post #102 - October 15th, 2011, 1:49 pm
    Post #102 - October 15th, 2011, 1:49 pm Post #102 - October 15th, 2011, 1:49 pm
    I'm guessing it's just a matter of them covering their butts, so to speak. Better to have available on request than to hand it out to lots of people who don't end up ordering off of it , or do order off of it and not appreciate it.
  • Post #103 - October 15th, 2011, 5:57 pm
    Post #103 - October 15th, 2011, 5:57 pm Post #103 - October 15th, 2011, 5:57 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Assuming the question isn't rhetorical, I'll tell you why it bothers me. I get a signal that I'm not as welcome to enjoy certain dishes as other patrons are.


    I can totally understand why that would bother someone but I'm quite sure the intention is NOT to make people feel that they are less welcome to try certain dishes. On one visit, one of the servers seemed surprised that we ordered exclusively from the Thai classics menu and told me that most non-Thai customers "never even look at it" (though I bet that's changing with all the good press). I think they don't give it out either because of an oversight or because they think people don't care to see it.
  • Post #104 - October 16th, 2011, 9:14 am
    Post #104 - October 16th, 2011, 9:14 am Post #104 - October 16th, 2011, 9:14 am
    thaiobsessed wrote:On one visit, one of the servers seemed surprised that we ordered exclusively from the Thai classics menu and told me that most non-Thai customers "never even look at it" (though I bet that's changing with all the good press). I think they don't give it out either because of an oversight or because they think people don't care to see it.


    Yeah, on my last two visits the waitress asked me "Have you been to Thailand?" with a tone that was really asking, "How did you know to order these things?" I just don't think there's a critical mass of interest from the casual customer for the Thai Classics items, such that even the dozens of LTH-inspired visits don't register with the staff there. Maybe someone should tip them off to the site, no?
  • Post #105 - October 16th, 2011, 9:27 am
    Post #105 - October 16th, 2011, 9:27 am Post #105 - October 16th, 2011, 9:27 am
    If you're bothered or afraid to ask for it, who's loss is it? Sometimes a bit of effort is necessary, you've got to dig for gold.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #106 - October 16th, 2011, 9:29 am
    Post #106 - October 16th, 2011, 9:29 am Post #106 - October 16th, 2011, 9:29 am
    l
    chezbrad wrote:
    thaiobsessed wrote:On one visit, one of the servers seemed surprised that we ordered exclusively from the Thai classics menu and told me that most non-Thai customers "never even look at it" (though I bet that's changing with all the good press). I think they don't give it out either because of an oversight or because they think people don't care to see it.


    Yeah, on my last two visits the waitress asked me "Have you been to Thailand?" with a tone that was really asking, "How did you know to order these things?" I just don't think there's a critical mass of interest from the casual customer for the Thai Classics items, such that even the dozens of LTH-inspired visits don't register with the staff there. Maybe someone should tip them off to the site, no?


    Can't speak for the servers but the owner, Tee, is aware of the site--he attended the GNR dinner at which they were recognized...The sign is up so, again, I think they "know" who we are, whatever that's worth.

    I just don't understand why this bothers people so much. Who cares why they ask? Who cares if we sometimes need to ask for the menu? Unless it changes the taste of the food or is accompanied by rude or inefficient service, I would think we'd all have better things to do during our meal than pondering this travesty.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #107 - October 16th, 2011, 11:29 am
    Post #107 - October 16th, 2011, 11:29 am Post #107 - October 16th, 2011, 11:29 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:I just don't understand why this bothers people so much. Who cares why they ask? Who cares if we sometimes need to ask for the menu? Unless it changes the taste of the food or is accompanied by rude or inefficient service, I would think we'd all have better things to do during our meal than pondering this travesty.

    Speaking for myself, I'm not asking anyone to "ponder" any "travesty." I'm simply registering the fact that the practice rubs me the wrong way.

    I'm not asking anyone to understand that, or feel the same way I do, although clearly some people do have an inkling what I'm talking about. If I were Gentile, and I walked into The Bagel, and was handed a menu that omitted tzimmes or kiskhe, I'd feel the same way.

    I don't plan to let my feeling stand in the way of a visit to Aroy Thai in the near future, however.
  • Post #108 - October 16th, 2011, 2:46 pm
    Post #108 - October 16th, 2011, 2:46 pm Post #108 - October 16th, 2011, 2:46 pm
    The funny thing is, I don't even consider all the items on the "Classics" menu all that unusual.
    Larb for instance. Big fat hairy deal. Northern Larb with Offal, OK that's going to unnerve some folk -- but Lao Sze Chuan has no problem with various pig intestine dishes on their main menu. Other "standards" only on the Thai menu: Fried wings, Tom Yum Shrimp.

    But I have to say, every time I go there, I'm going to order the Sai Ua -- that's a kick! Is it challenging? Not if you've eaten any Thai salad: the levels of lemongrass, chili, galangal and kefir lime leaf is definitely unusual but not a flavor or texture that is at all off-putting. I'm betting that kind of sausage sells a lot of beer in Thailand.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #109 - October 17th, 2011, 9:09 am
    Post #109 - October 17th, 2011, 9:09 am Post #109 - October 17th, 2011, 9:09 am
    I was just wondering because I got a strange look and denial that such a thing existed at Spoon a couple of weeks ago. Looking forward to giving Aroy a try this week.
  • Post #110 - October 17th, 2011, 9:15 am
    Post #110 - October 17th, 2011, 9:15 am Post #110 - October 17th, 2011, 9:15 am
    YourPalWill wrote:I was just wondering because I got a strange look and denial that such a thing existed at Spoon a couple of weeks ago. Looking forward to giving Aroy a try this week.

    I don't think such a thing does exist at Spoon anymore. When I was there recently, the dishes from the formerly separate translated menu were now part of the regular, single menu provided to all customers.
    ...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 #111 - October 17th, 2011, 10:24 am
    Post #111 - October 17th, 2011, 10:24 am Post #111 - October 17th, 2011, 10:24 am
    JoelF wrote:Lao Sze Chuan has no problem with various pig intestine dishes on their main menu.

    For what it's worth, it was 3 or 4 years before Lao Sze Chuan translated the "interesting" stuff on their menu. I remember well because I had to get a copy of James McCawley's The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters (then out of print and hard to find) to help me struggle through the extensive Chinese-only part of the menu.
  • Post #112 - October 18th, 2011, 11:22 am
    Post #112 - October 18th, 2011, 11:22 am Post #112 - October 18th, 2011, 11:22 am
    Kennyz wrote:
    YourPalWill wrote:I was just wondering because I got a strange look and denial that such a thing existed at Spoon a couple of weeks ago. Looking forward to giving Aroy a try this week.

    I don't think such a thing does exist at Spoon anymore. When I was there recently, the dishes from the formerly separate translated menu were now part of the regular, single menu provided to all customers.



    That waqs what I experienced, too. The "secret" menu was quite limited.
  • Post #113 - October 19th, 2011, 4:43 am
    Post #113 - October 19th, 2011, 4:43 am Post #113 - October 19th, 2011, 4:43 am
    This is a lot of discussion on a point that I believe to be a service mistake, not a service practice. If you haven't been to Aroy yet, please check all of this "Page 4" baggage at the door. My first trip to Aroy was only a few months ago, and we were given both menus.

    Enjoy!
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #114 - October 30th, 2011, 2:03 pm
    Post #114 - October 30th, 2011, 2:03 pm Post #114 - October 30th, 2011, 2:03 pm
    Last Friday, Jazzfood and I took a couple of first-timers to Aroy for a 'greatest hits' lunch. Needless to say, it was delicious but it's also worth adding that the food at Aroy is remarkably consistent. Before we could even order, being the great host that he is, T started us out with a house-made seasonal offering . . .

    Image
    Pickled Golden Delicious Apples
    These apples were terrific. By going directly to the orchard, the folks at Aroy end up with delicious-variety apples that are crispy and not mealy at all. From there they pickle the apples whole in a saltwater brine for about 3 weeks. The result is a firm and crisp wedge of apple with an extra tasty bite to it.


    Image
    Salt-Sugar-Chili Dip
    This mixture is for dipping the apples. It was a real treat, espeically the extra tingle on the tongue from the chilis.

    The rest of the meal was classic Aroy (from the Thai Classics menu), with distinctive, boldly-flavored dishes that delivered, as they seem to always do, on every sensory level . . .

    Image
    Thai Fried Wings
    Piping hot, crispy, tender and very tasty, especially when dipped in the ultra-funky sauce.


    Image
    Sai Ua and Isaan Sausage (left to right)
    I go back and forth on which of these I like better. The seasoning in the Sai Ua is entrancing but the sour-fermented funk of the Isaan is compelling, too.


    Image
    Som Tum with Raw Blue Crab
    This is a special, which has been around now for a few weeks. I really love the crab and the house-fried pork rinds as accents to the papaya. We ordered this one extra hot and it was quite fiery.


    Image
    Beef Tender and Beef Ball Tom Yum Soup
    With all due respect to TAC Quick's Tom Kha, this soup remains the best Thai soup I've ever eaten in Chicago. A while back RAB ordered it with tendon added, which was also spectacular.


    Image
    Grilled Pork Neck Salad
    This dish expertly rides that fine line between chewy and tender. It does have some chew but it's a delightfully pleasant chew. There's no sinew. It if were any more tender, the dish wouldn't work because the depth of the flavors really comes out in the chew.


    Image
    Larb Khun
    Funky, offal larb and my favorite rendition in town.


    Image
    Chou-chi Curry Pork
    I love this dish and I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture of the egg yolks below the curry, which were perfectly runny.

    Both our newbie friends really loved this meal, as did we. It's rare that I get out for a lunch this good. What a treat!

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    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 #115 - November 4th, 2011, 10:09 am
    Post #115 - November 4th, 2011, 10:09 am Post #115 - November 4th, 2011, 10:09 am
    10 of us dined at Aroy last night and had a very enjoyable meal. What I repeatedly find myself thinking and saying after eating there with first-timers is "if they didnt' like that, they just don't like Aroy." The reason is simple; the food at Aroy is consistently excellent. I never leave there feeling like they had an off night. Last night's meal was no exception, as exemplary dishes came to the table one after another. Last night's meal consisted of several Aroy favorites already documented here, plus a few specials that the folks at Aroy put together for us. Here are pictures of a few of the less documented dishes from last night's meal . . .

    Image
    Tod Mun (fish cake)
    These delicious cakes were served with a sweet sauce that contained scallion, peanut and cucumber. They're not on the menu but T convinced Mama to make them for us and I'm very glad he did.


    Image
    Blue Crab
    These 'raw' crabs have been part of a special som tum dish offered at Aroy over the past few weeks but last night they were served to us straight up. They're cured briefly in fish sauce and quite lovely.


    Image
    Beef Rib Eye in Panang Curry
    This individually-plated course was another off-menu item, and one I'd never had before at Aroy. It was reminiscent of the beef cheek course on the recent Thailand menu at Next. The curry was spicy and complex, and the beef was fork tender. T told us that next time he would use a fattier cut. I think the dish would benefit from that, though this was still a big success.


    Image
    Crispy Catfish with Thai Eggplant and Green Peppercorn
    I believe this dish is on the menu Aroy, or at least I remember having it there before. The catfish was indeed crispy and I believe it even contained edible bones (someone at the table mentioned this). I'm a big fan of Thai eggplant, too so I really enjoyed this dish, even though I was very, very full by the time it was served at the end of the meal.

    Again, with all these dishes, I think it's best to not expect that they'll be available on any given visit. They may or may not be. An advance phone call to Aroy would be the best way to clarify that.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    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 #116 - November 4th, 2011, 11:25 am
    Post #116 - November 4th, 2011, 11:25 am Post #116 - November 4th, 2011, 11:25 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:10 of us dined at Aroy last night and had a very enjoyable meal. What I repeatedly find myself thinking and saying after eating there with first-timers is "if they didnt' like that, they just don't like Aroy."

    I loved everything. As I remarked last night, it was the best meal I never ordered. This was partly because of ordering done by some of the Aroy experts at the table, and partly because of the dishes that T surprised us with. I didn't need to do anything but sit there, eat, and be delighted. (By the company as well as the food.) Aroy is great.
  • Post #117 - November 4th, 2011, 8:28 pm
    Post #117 - November 4th, 2011, 8:28 pm Post #117 - November 4th, 2011, 8:28 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Crispy Catfish with Thai Eggplant and Green Peppercorn
    I believe this dish is on the menu Aroy, or at least I remember having it there before. The catfish was indeed crispy and I believe it even contained edible bones (someone at the table mentioned this). I'm a big fan of Thai eggplant, too so I really enjoyed this dish, even though I was very, very full by the time it was served at the end of the meal.

    It is on the menu indeed. I had it for the first time in February and have loved it several times since.

    Kennyz wrote:Just tried the pra phat jar, a dish with a totally different flavor profile from anything else I've had at Aroy, on account of the heavy use of zippy green peppercorns. It's a deeply aromatic curry with catfish, lemongrass and other herbs and spices too - but the refreshing, simultaneously cooling and hot green peppercorns are clearly there to dominate.

    Pra Phat Jar:
    Image
    ...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 #118 - November 4th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Post #118 - November 4th, 2011, 9:53 pm Post #118 - November 4th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Spoke to T after dinner, and he and his mom are more than happy to whip up a couple of off menu items for us, but he can never tell if we like it or not. Simpler to just serve what he loves, his favorite dishes to share with us. I assured him that we love it, and that he can continue to push the envelope with us.

    The highlights of the evening for me were:
    • Pickled apples with salt/sugar/chili dip - Reminds me of childhood street food favorite, pickled sour fruit in sweet/tart solution then slathered with sea salt and chili spread
    • Tod Man Pla - Hard to add to regular menu due to the shelf life and I suspect labor intensiveness, traditionally with pestle and mortar.
    • Raw Blue Crab salad - Could easily have slurp up every drop of the dressing. Will eat any veggie with that dressing.

    Of course the usual favorites, but they were spot on last night: (even then my previous LTH dinner)
    • Funky bamboo shoot salad
    • Fried wings - So gringa of me, but can't deny the banana in me
    • Tom Yum beef balls and tendon was perfect for the wet crisp fall weather.

    We didn't get the chou chi "bolognese" dish, which is fine with me, cause what I really miss was the lacy fried eggs. Wonder if they would do an entire platter of that with some of delicious fish sauce dressing on the side. If only these burger places fried up their eggs that way, with a runny yolk but crisped lacy whites...omg.
    “Nothing is more agreeable to look at than a gourmande in full battle dress.”
    Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
  • Post #119 - December 8th, 2011, 12:45 am
    Post #119 - December 8th, 2011, 12:45 am Post #119 - December 8th, 2011, 12:45 am
    Even a relatively tame order for a table of three this week was beautifully handled by Aroy: tom kha kai, satay, Isaan sausage (sour!), a quaffable red curry with tofu, pad sieu, and the humble cucumber salad were elevated by excellent ingredients, prep, and fresh spicing.

    As entertaining as our meal was that of the Thai guys next to us who destroyed a fragrant tableful of offal with overpowering gusto. Just sitting near them was like being broken out of a month-old andouillette. Good stuff.
  • Post #120 - December 11th, 2011, 9:54 pm
    Post #120 - December 11th, 2011, 9:54 pm Post #120 - December 11th, 2011, 9:54 pm
    Having finally managed to get back to Aroy last month, I'm not sure what I can add other than I need somebody to periodically ship me some of the beef tom yum. Great googly moogly, what a fabulous soup.

    The Larb Khun and both sausages rounded out my favorites on the evening, though everything was fabulous. The only disappointment was the chou-chi ground pork, only because the egg lacked the crispy lattice that many have described, and it was cooked through without any runny yolk at all. I imagine both would have made it even better than it was, and if I hadn't been expecting it, I wouldn't have missed it.

    A question arose about the pork neck, however... precisely what cut are we talking about here? It's too muscular to be the jowl, but seems a whole lot fattier than the shoulder (which I've seen described as pork neck in some quarters). Anybody present know its provenance and possess the ability to put pig anatomy into layman's terms?
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

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