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Tac Quick - great as ever

Tac Quick - great as ever
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  • Post #31 - October 5th, 2007, 11:58 am
    Post #31 - October 5th, 2007, 11:58 am Post #31 - October 5th, 2007, 11:58 am
    I'm hosting fifteen people for dinner at TAC Quick tomorrow. I'm preodering all the food family style from the translated menu, and I could use some recommendations for one or two entrees. We will be starting with Thai style beef jerky, fish cakes, fried chicken, and the crispy en choy salad. Suggestions for one or two entrees that would be fesible family style and appeal to a broad range of guests would be appreciated.

    Jim
  • Post #32 - October 5th, 2007, 1:46 pm
    Post #32 - October 5th, 2007, 1:46 pm Post #32 - October 5th, 2007, 1:46 pm
    rhinopias wrote:I'm hosting fifteen people for dinner at TAC Quick tomorrow. I'm preodering all the food family style from the translated menu, and I could use some recommendations for one or two entrees. We will be starting with Thai style beef jerky, fish cakes, fried chicken, and the crispy en choy salad. Suggestions for one or two entrees that would be fesible family style and appeal to a broad range of guests would be appreciated.

    Jim


    Pork neck larb?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #33 - October 5th, 2007, 9:23 pm
    Post #33 - October 5th, 2007, 9:23 pm Post #33 - October 5th, 2007, 9:23 pm
    rhinopias wrote:I'm hosting fifteen people for dinner at TAC Quick tomorrow. I'm preodering all the food family style from the translated menu, and I could use some recommendations for one or two entrees. We will be starting with Thai style beef jerky, fish cakes, fried chicken, and the crispy en choy salad. Suggestions for one or two entrees that would be fesible family style and appeal to a broad range of guests would be appreciated.

    Jim


    I would suggest one of the 2 omelettes...either the one with ground pork and toasted garlic, or the one with ground pork and vegetables. I like the former better.
  • Post #34 - October 6th, 2007, 8:05 am
    Post #34 - October 6th, 2007, 8:05 am Post #34 - October 6th, 2007, 8:05 am
    rhinopias wrote:I'm hosting fifteen people for dinner at TAC Quick tomorrow. I'm preodering all the food family style from the translated menu, and I could use some recommendations for one or two entrees. We will be starting with Thai style beef jerky, fish cakes, fried chicken, and the crispy en choy salad. Suggestions for one or two entrees that would be fesible family style and appeal to a broad range of guests would be appreciated.


    I think it's important to point out that everything is served "family style", whether you ask for it that way or not. There are no composed entrees in the manner that you would order them in a Western restaurant. Sure, you can eat a bowl of soup or a plate of noodles alone, but they work for groups as well.

    My favorite item at TAC that doesn't seem to be on your appetizer list is the Issan sausage.

    I was there with a group of seven last night and we ordered nearly everything off of the blackboard, which is generally a good practice. There were two duck items, both of which I enjoyed:

    --A duck curry. Sweet and hot, filled with grapes and pineapple.
    --Basil duck, served over rice. It could have used a stronger shot of the basil and a little more heat, but the flavor of the meat was excellent.

    I also was able to taste a new-to-me dish last night: Sour curry with "cha-om" leaf omelet. This is a curry served in a bowl (not curry over an omelet as I expected) and the chunks of omelet are floating in the seriously sour curry. It was quite enjoyable.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #35 - October 6th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Post #35 - October 6th, 2007, 10:44 am Post #35 - October 6th, 2007, 10:44 am
    The basil duck will be on for tonight, deciding between an omelet which I always enjoy or the pork neck larb.

    Thanks!
  • Post #36 - December 28th, 2007, 2:58 pm
    Post #36 - December 28th, 2007, 2:58 pm Post #36 - December 28th, 2007, 2:58 pm
    I'm dining at TAC Quick tonight with two companions. I've been there once before, early this past summer, and thoroughly enjoyed the boar pad ped. I haven't heard much about it lately, so I'm curious if anyone here has been and if they have any recommendations for current menu items (and maybe how to pronounce them).
  • Post #37 - December 28th, 2007, 4:07 pm
    Post #37 - December 28th, 2007, 4:07 pm Post #37 - December 28th, 2007, 4:07 pm
    I've been all over the Suki recently. It's so perfect on a night like this.
  • Post #38 - December 28th, 2007, 4:20 pm
    Post #38 - December 28th, 2007, 4:20 pm Post #38 - December 28th, 2007, 4:20 pm
    rhinopias wrote:I've been all over the Suki recently.

    Care to translate :?:
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #39 - December 28th, 2007, 5:29 pm
    Post #39 - December 28th, 2007, 5:29 pm Post #39 - December 28th, 2007, 5:29 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    rhinopias wrote:I've been all over the Suki recently.

    Care to translate :?:


    Thai variation of a Japanese staple soup or "fondue" served during the colder months. Full name is Sukiyaki, but it's listed as Suki. It's made with Dashi (broth), soy, mirin, sugar, vegetables, rice noodles, tofu, choice of meat, and comes with a spicy sauce on the side, which I mix in about 80% of the bowl. For me it's the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and heat.

    Edited because I just ordered it for delivery. Woo Hoo! Now what riesling to pick up on the way home????
  • Post #40 - February 16th, 2008, 12:48 pm
    Post #40 - February 16th, 2008, 12:48 pm Post #40 - February 16th, 2008, 12:48 pm
    A friend and I made our inaugural visit to TAC this week, and I'm excited to go back. That said, our meal wasn't perfect. A few observations:

    Overall, we loved the crispy on choy, but when I ate the fried bits separately, the oil tasted as if it was about a day or two overdue for changing. Not rancid, but I tasted more of the grease than I did the bok choy (and, I think, there was also batter-fried basil).

    We had the fried chicken. Granted, my dining companion grabbed all of the pieces of dark meat, but the pieces I had were a little too tough, dry and chewy. I loved the dipping sauce, and loved this dish in theory, but I needed a little more moisture.

    Had the Hainan-style chicken. I would recommend this for first-time visitors to TAC, because it's a fairly simple dish (comfort food, in my mind) that, while seemingly well executed, didn't generate a lot of excitement. The chicken was moist and flavorful, I loved the sauce and the rice was delicious, but, I wished I'd ordered something a bit more unusual. (Though I would recommend this dish if you're eating at TAC with someone who's not very adventurous or if you think you're coming down with a cold!)

    Also, a minor quibble, but we were charged corkage for two, even though the waiter knew only one of us was drinking (when he showed up with two glasses, we told him that we only needed one), and we only had one bottle of beer. They were slammed by the time we got our bill, so it wasn't worth arguing about.
  • Post #41 - February 24th, 2008, 11:58 am
    Post #41 - February 24th, 2008, 11:58 am Post #41 - February 24th, 2008, 11:58 am
    Went to TAC last night for dinner. Not sure if anyone else has noted that the regular menu has changed. It's now a fold instead of just 2 sides, and seems to have more of the dishes from the Thai-language menu on it. Also the Crispy On Choy is now on that regular menu.

    We had grilled snails from the specials board, grilled calamari, duck curry and pad thai. The snails were very tasty, but quite sandy. I suspect that's the nature of the beast, not anything you could do about it. After we ate them, one of the waitresses (I think a more managerial / host woman) came over to ask us how they were, to make sure the waiter had made it clear to us that they were SNAILS and how we liked them. She says she doesn't recommend them to people, because someone ordered them and then sent them back saying "you didn't tell us they were snails." Argh! They weren't listed on the specials board in English, it said something like "Grilled Moy xxx" (Thai for snails, I'm guessing) and we asked the waiter what it was. He told us it was snails.

    I liked the snails better than the calamari, though the squid was just fine, and the duck curry was really nice - pretty much a red curry, but with fruit as well as the duck.

    Anyway, the food was good, and the service was also good. I think I like a less sweet Pad Thai, but then again, I'm not sure TAC is the place I'd go for Pad Thai - I just had a craving for it :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #42 - February 25th, 2008, 8:51 pm
    Post #42 - February 25th, 2008, 8:51 pm Post #42 - February 25th, 2008, 8:51 pm
    Has the Thai menu changed since Erik M's original translation? Might be going to TAC for the first time and would like to try things from the Thai menu.
  • Post #43 - February 26th, 2008, 8:33 am
    Post #43 - February 26th, 2008, 8:33 am Post #43 - February 26th, 2008, 8:33 am
    Hi

    We generally order mostly from the specials board, so are not aware of any changes on the Thai menu, or if it is the same. If there is something in particular you want, I'm sure you can ask the server. Many of the things on the Thai menu are (and have been) also on the English language menu.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #44 - February 28th, 2008, 12:37 am
    Post #44 - February 28th, 2008, 12:37 am Post #44 - February 28th, 2008, 12:37 am
    Rhinopias - how did that 15-person dinner go back in October? I'm trying to decide on TAC vs. P.S. Bangkok (which at least dmnkly and I champion) for a party of 14 on this coming Saturday. I have tentative reservations at both and will cancel one on Thursday night.

    P.S. Bangkok is guaranteed good service and 6 PM is a quiet time there. I know the dishes well, and they won't shock any of the non-adventurous (though I would order some off-menu favorites, including pad sieu crispy with BBQ pork, and one-bite salad).

    TAC would be more of a gamble; reward for risk. I'm concerned about the service, and also the communication level for a vegetarian in the party. Mudd asked upthread how and what to order vegetarian - any recommendations? Are there specific LTH "contacts" on the staff who would be willing to help me out with some planning in advance?

    Many, many thanks.
  • Post #45 - February 28th, 2008, 6:31 am
    Post #45 - February 28th, 2008, 6:31 am Post #45 - February 28th, 2008, 6:31 am
    Santander -

    The party at Tac quick went very well.

    We were sat at the banquet on the south wall at 6:30. At this point the restaurant was fairly empty. They said the banquet seats 12, but we quite comfortable with 15.

    One person arrived early with a cooler full of ice so that people arriving could put their Rieslings and beer away without disrupting the staff every 3 mins. This also helped with the flow of the dinner as we tended to our own beverages.

    I pre-ordered all food before everyone arrived, and asked that it be served in 3 waves, all from the translated menu. 1st wave consisted of fried chicken, beef jerky, fish cakes, and the sausages. 2nd offering was crispy on choy, and the 3rd and final wave was pork hock w/ star anise, a basil duck special, and one other dish that is escaping me. Timing on this was perfect, even as the restaurant was beginning to fill on the saturday evening. Every thing was as fresh as when there is only 2 of us dining. Staff never appeared flustered nor were they ever far away.

    Everyone in our group really enjoyed the dinner, and most are not "eaters", and few could be called picky. As for the vegetarian in your group, the Suki that I've posted about up thread and the crispy on choy have both been ordered sans meat by a friend successfully...however you might give advance notice for the on choy.

    Afterwards we walked to my place for Mace cake and Thai inspired DIY bar. Filled the bar area with mango, pineapple, and pear juices, Thai basil, mint, cardamon, sparking water, fresh fruit, sparkling water, asst. liquors, and a mortar.

    It was a great evening.
  • Post #46 - March 1st, 2008, 7:45 am
    Post #46 - March 1st, 2008, 7:45 am Post #46 - March 1st, 2008, 7:45 am
    LTH,

    A meal at TAC is always a treat, yesterdays lunch no exception. Daily special Garlic Pork ribs announced aromatic presence from 5 feet, generous portion of Thai fried chicken, dense/chewy/flavorful Grilled Pork Neck and an amped up, upon our request, Duck Curry that delightfully broke a light bead of brow sweat.

    In addition to Sticky Rice w/banana for dessert we also had TAC flavor standard bearer Crispy On Choy a dish I, and many others, have waxed poetic about, yet yesterday's offering was slightly off the mark. Same bright flavored hot/salty/sour with a hint of sweet sauce, crisp lettuce, ground chicken playing its supporting role perfectly but the shrimp were cold, as if right from the fridge and the crisp fried on choy were dull, lifeless and tasted as if they had been fried well in advance of service. A disappointment.

    I'm going to consider our crispy on choy miscue an anomaly and have a 'redo' soon, maybe as soon as next week. TAC is always a treat, even if the occasional dish might miss the mark.

    Crispy On Choy 2.29.08
    Image

    Duck Curry
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #47 - March 1st, 2008, 8:27 am
    Post #47 - March 1st, 2008, 8:27 am Post #47 - March 1st, 2008, 8:27 am
    Interesting note on the on choy. I had the same experience with it on my last visit to TAC. I'm thinking that, now that it is a standard menu item, that the kitchen may be pre-frying the choy for the sake of making the production of the dish more effeicient.

    When the choy is crispy and hot, it is a truly delightful dish. When the choy is room temperature, it is average at best.
  • Post #48 - March 2nd, 2008, 7:59 am
    Post #48 - March 2nd, 2008, 7:59 am Post #48 - March 2nd, 2008, 7:59 am
    Here are a few more pictures from our lunch at TAC the other day.

    Pork Neck
    Image

    Like the crispy on choy, the pork neck was served at room temperature instead of it's usual hot off the grill. Those two dishes were my only complaints, because the rest of the meal was spectacular and included:

    Roasted Duck Curry (from the specials board)
    Image

    This dish was prepared extremely spicy at our request, yet managed to be a perfect balance of all 4 Thai flavor components. This was the best curry I've had at TAC for quite some time.

    Garlic Pork Ribs (from the specials board)
    Image

    These ribs were first boiled, then coated with the very flavorful sauce and put on the grill. Outstanding.

    Sticky Rice and Banana W/Peanuts
    Image

    This was a very good dessert, served hot from the steamer. I named this dish the Thaimale.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #49 - March 2nd, 2008, 10:59 am
    Post #49 - March 2nd, 2008, 10:59 am Post #49 - March 2nd, 2008, 10:59 am
    I think the Thaimale (inspired name) has cashews, not peanuts.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #50 - March 2nd, 2008, 11:27 am
    Post #50 - March 2nd, 2008, 11:27 am Post #50 - March 2nd, 2008, 11:27 am
    Jazzfood wrote:I think the Thaimale (inspired name) has cashews, not peanuts.


    Right you are.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #51 - March 2nd, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Post #51 - March 2nd, 2008, 2:45 pm Post #51 - March 2nd, 2008, 2:45 pm
    I was at TAC last night and ordered the crispy on choy. I've had the dish when everything was at least warm on a few occasions and other times when most of the elements were room temperature. Sometimes the shrimp seem a bit cold. Last night, I figured I would ask for my on choy hot out of the kitchen. My waitress informed me that it was not possible, as the on choy would not be crispy if it was hot. I have found the warm version to be far superior.

    Maybe I'm nuts, but I swear it's possible to make things that are crispy and hot at the same time. I still like the dish at room temperature, but not as much as I do when it seems warm and fresh(er).
  • Post #52 - May 9th, 2008, 12:25 pm
    Post #52 - May 9th, 2008, 12:25 pm Post #52 - May 9th, 2008, 12:25 pm
    Hi all, anyone been recently? I think I'm going back Saturday night for some Thai therapy with a few friends who haven't been yet. Any intel on new specials board offerings? I haven't been in 6 mos or so. I'll push for my standbies of cuke salad, fried chicken, chive dumplings, en choy, and a khaosoy or panang curry, just looking for any direction on any newer "don't miss items" on the board if there are any. We'll probably be in "feast mode" and wanting to try several more dishes.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #53 - June 15th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Post #53 - June 15th, 2008, 10:02 pm Post #53 - June 15th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Finally went to Tac Quick tonight for the first time. Very good experience; we were originally going to go to Sticky Rice, but they were somewhat brusque and told us we'd have to wait until a table opened up even though there was a four-top open that wasn't reserved, they just didn't want to seat two at a four top. So we said screw it, and went to Tac Quick which isn't far. They were only maybe half full, with the outdoor section open. It is a good looking space, and the service was very friendly and helpful. Grilled squid was terrific, perfectly done.The cucumber salad has spinach and sesame, a nice touch. Satay and moo ping were grilled just right. Pork with ginger and black mushrooms with three kinds of peppers was tasty, sweet and a little hot. We'll definitely be going back. Yet another place I never would have looked at twice without an LTH recommendation.
    trpt2345
  • Post #54 - January 18th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Post #54 - January 18th, 2009, 12:48 pm Post #54 - January 18th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Every so often, I have a good-to-excellent Thai meal somewhere other than at TAC and I think to myself that whatever place it may be is basically in the same category as TAC. Then, I go back to TAC and remember that, at least for me, TAC has no equal. At a recent lunch, this point was driven home yet again via some absolutely fantastic food, most of which could be categorized as 'best ever' renditions . . .


    Image
    Pad See Ewe with Pork
    My son loves this dish and for him, it's probably the standard by which he compares Thai restaurants. Even though this dish isn't exactly in TAC's wheelhouse, they do a great job with it. The noodles had a satisfying, delicate bite, the chicken was crispy and moist, the broccoli was tender but not mushy, and the sauce was balanced in its sweetness.


    Image
    Thai Fried Chicken
    There are a few other places in town where this really shines but none of them trump TAC's rendition. The piping hot, marinated chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.


    Image
    Issan-style Sausage
    I just love the way this was cooked, so that the outside was perfectly charred and the inside was moist with satisfying defintion.


    Image
    Tom Kha Kai
    This soup is great at several other places around town but for me TAC's is the best. I love the complexity and depth of the broth. I could really just eat the broth when I order this soup but the chicken pieces in TAC's version are never dry or chewy, like they can be in less carefully-prepared renditions.


    Image
    Som Tum Tai
    Another definitive version for me. The papaya is cut thicker than in most other versions I've had, which provides a distinctive and satisfying mouthfeel. It also creates a unique balance between the papaya and the pungent, funky dressing, which is also balanced perfectly. The little dried shrimps are like hidden jewels throughout the salad.


    Image
    Kra Phrao Kai Khai Yeow Ma
    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In the case of this dish, they arrived together, along with delicate, aromatic crispy basil leaves. The dish consists of stir-fried, minced chicken and crispy basil leaves served over preserved eggs. It's a symphonic explosion of intense flavors, textures and aromas.


    Image
    Kra Phrao Kai Khai Yeow Ma
    A closer look at the components of the dish.

    TAC is one of the few places that, as much as I love it, I don't get there often enough. We were there right after they opened and for the entire duration of our meal, we were the only customers in the place. This really struck me because as I watched folks walk by, through the front window, I couldn't fathom how anyone could actually walk past TAC without coming in and eating something (yes, I understand that this is a symptom of my personal obsession :D). I suppose that if I lived very near TAC, I could get there often enough to burn it out but given that Thai is one of my very favorite cuisines and TAC is my very favorite place to get it, that doesn't even seem like a remote possibility.

    =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 #55 - January 18th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Post #55 - January 18th, 2009, 2:44 pm Post #55 - January 18th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Great photos, ronnie. You and I are on the exact same page when it comes to TAC. I love other Thai places, but no one's food tastes quite like TAC's.

    There are times when the thought of that Issan sausage keep me up at night. Your photo is only going to further my insomnia.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #56 - January 22nd, 2009, 10:11 pm
    Post #56 - January 22nd, 2009, 10:11 pm Post #56 - January 22nd, 2009, 10:11 pm
    What more can be said? Another dinner tonight at TAC, another reason to believe the place is unmatched. Crispy On Choy is just a remarkable array of textural sensations, with flavors that just burst in your mouth. Even something as pedestrian as steamed shrimp dumplings turns into a luscious, flavorful dish. Massaman curry is just a little bit more deeply flavored than other renditions, and all the vegetables are perfectly cooked.

    We've got some great Thai food in Chicago, and TAC continues to do almost everything better than its mighty peers. And they do it in a space that's more comfortable to eat in than most, and costs no more than your average neighborhood Thai hole in the wall.
    ...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 #57 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:42 am
    Post #57 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:42 am Post #57 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:42 am
    Ronnie's photos are making me want to forget about my (budget-induced) home cooking streak and go to TAC straightaway. The Tom Kha made my mouth water, the Som Tum made my chin quiver, and the Kra Phrao Kai Khai Yeow Ma made me take deep calming breaths. I love that dish more than my mother.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #58 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:55 am
    Post #58 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:55 am Post #58 - January 23rd, 2009, 7:55 am
    Great pictures as always Ronnie, thank you... Tac Quick is quickly moving to the top of my "must try" list.
  • Post #59 - January 23rd, 2009, 8:23 am
    Post #59 - January 23rd, 2009, 8:23 am Post #59 - January 23rd, 2009, 8:23 am
    Has been my benchmark since the first time I went. Even for cucumber salad as silly as it may seem. Chive dumplings, fried chicken, (although Sticky Rice's is quite deelish - imo) Khaosoy, and red curry always get compared to Tac when ordered by our clan. Tac is also our "Thai therapy" spot when needed after a few "so-so"Thai meals at other places. I always describe it to others as "menu items might cost one to two dollars more than you are used to, but they will be worth 5 dollars more, EASILY."
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #60 - January 23rd, 2009, 10:02 am
    Post #60 - January 23rd, 2009, 10:02 am Post #60 - January 23rd, 2009, 10:02 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image
    Pad See Ewe with Pork
    My son loves this dish and for him, it's probably the standard by which he compares Thai restaurants. Even though this dish isn't exactly in TAC's wheelhouse, they do a great job with it. The noodles had a satisfying, delicate bite, the chicken was crispy and moist, the broccoli was tender but not mushy, and the sauce was balanced in its sweetness.


    Ever since my first meal at TAC Quick, I've been a huge fan and frankly embarrassed that I hadn't been there before (given it's proximity to my abode), but I have to say that I really don't care for their Pad See Ewe. At my favorite Thai spot in Virginia they did a phenomenal version of the dish, and while TAC is far and away a better restaurant overall, their Pad See Ewe just doesn't measure up.

    I think it's the lack of char of the fresh noodles and the use of American-style broccoli instead of the more bitter Chinese-style broccoli (or does TAC use a mix?) that I associate with the dish.

    I still have no hesitation when I say that TAC is my favorite Thai in town (although there are a couple of dishes - Num Tok and Tom Kha Pla - at Opart have me hooked), I just wish I liked their Pad See Ewe better.

    -Dan

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