18 March 2013

Minneapolis: Chiang Mai Thai

Perhaps you read about our fiasco last week.  You know, where we went to a Thai place expecting Thai?  Which was apparently too much to ask for.  So for super special BFF girl time, Becca and I made up for the disappointment by venturing into Uptown - a trusty bastion of quality food - and alighting upon Chiang Mai Thai.  It's been recommended more than once by my brother-in-law, who happens to be a food enthusiast.

Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
I'll tell you now: Chiang Mai Thai is at least 10,000 times better than Thai Table.

Chiang Mai Thai
3001 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 827-1606

The menu was a little confusing for us because although it's very well-labeled for those avoiding gluten, the vegan tags didn't seem to match the menu descriptions.  We found several items that appeared vegan, and upon asking our server, discovered that we'd been correct.  I recommend you drop the V word as you order and check to make sure your dish fits the bill.

The Fresh Spring Rolls at $6 were pretty amazing, considering they didn't even contain any grilled tofu or anything.  It was all noodles, lettuce, sprouts, carrots, and mint wrapped up in rice paper and dipped in peanut sauce.  Or, should I say, awesomesauce.  The fresh simplicity of the rolls did them credit.  We loved them.

Becca ordered the Yellow Curry with mock duck for $13 - the menu calls it vegan, but the description includes fried potatoes, yams, carrots, rice, and crispy, ahem, EGG noodles.  She went over the issue with the server, who said it's easy as pie to leave the noodles off because they're kind of just a crunchy garnish.  And was this thing delicious!  If you've ever wondered what Thai comfort food would taste like, it's this.  The curry is sweet and flavorful without hitting spicy.  It filled Becca up quickly.  If you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance who thinks they don't like Thai, bring/kidnap them here and feed them this dish.  They will see the light.

My Good Luck Salad with tofu was $9, and I checked with the server to make sure that it's vegan.  Isn't it pretty?  It comes with rice on a separate plate, and the main dish consists of a wedge of lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, and a medley of fried tofu, onion, fresh mint, and some kind of salty-tangy amazing flavor that develops slowly in your mouth as you chew.  How is this a salad?  I'm not sure.  But I can pretend.  YUM.

Our server also let us know that, along with the two dishes we ordered, the Garlic Pepper Stir Fry is one of his favorite entrees.  This is ironic, considering that this is the very same dish that brought Becca's and Matt's hopes and dreams crashing to the ground at Thai Table.  I have no doubt that Chiang Mai Thai's is at least 100,000 times better.  Thank you, Uptown, for restoring our faith in humanity.  I mean, Thai food.

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