Thursday, January 24, 2013
9420 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
What I ate: Panang Kuay Tiew, Khao Soy, Pad Thai
I can’t precisely recall when I came to know and like Thai food. It doesn’t go back to my childhood, like my enjoyment of Italian, Chinese and Mexican food, but perhaps sometime in the mid-’90s a friend suggested we get some Pad Thai—a popular noodle dish—and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Over the subsequent years, I have probably dined out for Thai food more times—and at more different restaurants—than I have sought out any other international cuisine. But although the menu at Thai restaurants is usually pretty extensive, I primarily have ordered only two or three different entrees.
Pad Thai is my main staple. On the Ruby of Siam menu, it is described as: Stir fried rice noodles or bean thread noodles with your choice of protein. Prepared with tofu, bean sprouts, eggs, ground peanuts and green onions.
I get it with either beef or pork, and because I like it on the sweet and tangy side with a touch of spice, I typically ask for some tamarind or sweet & sour sauce and some chili paste that I add to it. And though it comes with ground peanuts, a little more never hurts.
For an appetizer, I often get either soft Spring Rolls or Satay, if pork or beef is available (as I’m allergic to chicken).
Though I have eaten at many different Thai restaurants around the Chicago area and beyond, Ruby of Siam is probably the one I’ve most frequented. Their Skokie location is closest to my home (and, IMHO, better than other Thai places in Skokie) and their Loop location on Washington is convenient for pre-theater dining.
The other night, inspired in part by having visited the Peanuts (as in Charlie Brown) exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, my mom, sister and I once again dined at Ruby of Siam.
I went with Panang Kuay Tiew, which falls under Noodle Dishes on the menu and is described as: Steamed noodles and bell peppers topped with panang curry prepared with choice of protein.
So I got the Panang flavoring that I like, with pork as my protein, a few peppers and some ground peanuts that I requested and added. But rather than the Pad Thai noodles, which are under 1/2 centimeter wide, the Kuay Tiew noodles were over an inch wide.
It was certainly tasty and nothing I really regretted ordering, but I can’t say I liked it more than Pad Thai or the Panang or Mussaman over rice.
All in all, it was a typically satisfying meal at Ruby of Siam, even without any appetizer or dessert, but I imagine on my next Thai food excursion, I’ll go back to the tried and true.
What can I say, Siam what Siam.