Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Portland Restaurants and Happy Hours: Thai Assortment

Thanks to my most recent assignment for the magazine, today was our Thai food extravaganza. Nine restaurants in 7 hours...not too shabby.

We started downtown at
Sawasdee Thai, one of the many food carts on 10th and Alder. We didn't sample anything but we were told that their specialty was spicy fried rice and pumpkin curry. (Little did we know that pumpkin curry is quite popular as far as specialties go.) We also came across a cute little dessert cart, Sugar Cube. We definitely need to remember it next time we have a craving for something sweet.

After Sawasdee, we decided it would be an easy walk to E-San Thai Cuisine on the corner of Second and Pine. Unfortunately we walked about 10 blocks before we were informed that we were heading in the wrong direction. By that time our parking meter was about to run out so I hurried back to the car while can Kelly hunted down E-San . We ordered egg rolls that we then enjoyed on the back of my car outside of our next destination, PeemKaew Thai in the Pearl.

We decided to eat lunch at PeemKaew and were happily surprised when we were presented with complimentary spring rolls to go with our pumpkin curry and drunken noodles, which also turned out to be on the house. Thanks Peem Kaew!

After that it was off to Beau Thai Restaurant on 21st (bowtie...tricky), Vege Thai on Hawthorne and Pok Pok on Division. At Pok Pok, they told us that their food is "southeast asian street food" and when I talked to the owner, he was careful to point out that they were not a Thai restaurant but that they should be included in my article on Thai restaurants. Confusing.

After we tackled SE Portland we had two hours until Siam Society would be open. We decided it would be worth the trip to drive a good 25 minutes out to Honey Jar Frozen Yogurt on NE Sandy Blvd just after 138th. You may be wondering why we went to a fro yo place, but they have quite a variety. They not only have fro yo, they have regular ice cream, sandwiches, bagels, croissants, donuts...and a variety of Thai food. Though we didn't actually try any we decided that some day we will (and when we do we'll let you know how it is), but it has a very affordable menu with every item between $6.95 and $7.95.

By then it was time for our final two stops on Alberta, Thai Noon and Siam Society. We planned to get to Siam Society for their happy hour right at 4pm when their website said they open but unfortunately their times changed and we had a half-an-hour to kill before they opened their doors. True to form, we found a great little place that we want to try sometime, a little crepe place called Tour de Crepes.

While our half-an-hour passed by relatively slowly, I have to say, it was worth the wait. The bartender was very knowledgeable and gave us a full rundown of the history of the building and chefs/owners. We ordered Thai Me Up's, thai iced teas with a "generous splash of Stoli vanilla." Not bad, but we could definitely taste the vodka. As far as food, at the recommendation of the bartender, we ordered the pulled pork spring rolls, the vegetarian spring rolls and the sweet potato fries. All were tasty but no sweet potato fries can ever take the place of Mint's (aka 820 on N Russel). The bartender was also kind enough to let us try the Hibiscus Mojito and their award-winning ginger and lime cosmo. We will definitely be back!

Siam Society Happy Hour Ring-Up
2 Thai Me Up's : $16
2 Pulled Pork Spring Rolls: $4
1 Vegetarian Spring Roll: $2
1 Sweet Potato Fries: $3. 50
Total: $25.50 or $12.75 each plus tip