Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Heat Is On At Pad Thai

We journeyed off the beaten path to Pad Thai for dinner last night. I had eaten there over a year ago with friends, but my husband had yet to try it. On a Friday, this place buzzed! Clearly, a popular joint and non-smoking. We were seated and ordered a pot of jasmine tea ($2.50). The last time I ate here, I raved about the steamed dumplings, so we began with steamed marinated chopped pork and shrimp wrapped in soft egg wonton and served with soy sauce ($5.95). I still loved the delicate wonton wrapper encasing the filling, but the filling did not match my fond memories. It was very heavy, thus, negating the implied lightness in the word “steamed.” They were still tasty and the soy sauce contained a sweetness that paired well with the appetizer.

For entrees, I took a traditional stance and ordered Pad Thai with Chicken – stir-fried thin rice noodle with dried bean curd, bean sprouts, peanut, scallion, radish, and egg flavored with special sauce ($8.95). My hubby chose Pad Cashew Nut with Chicken – stir-fried cashew, onion, water chestnut, scallion, and dried pepper served with jasmine rice ($8.95). Both dishes could be ordered with one’s choice of meat and one’s choice of spiciness – mild, medium, hot, or extra hot. And ingredients could also be omitted upon request. (I omitted the bean sprouts because they have always tasted like dirt to me.) Unlike some other Thai restaurants these days, medium spiciness meant these old eyes watered profusely amidst my nose running. Both dishes were chocked full of flavor. My rice noodles picked up the special sauce and the chicken was very tender. Tiny pepper flakes throughout the dish ensured that with every bite the heat increased (just think what hot would have felt like!). The Pad Cashew had a brown sauce and a mound of white meat chicken. Whole dried peppers were added to this dish. The scallions added a nice touch of color. As the heat mounted my husband contemplated a Thai beer - Singha or Chang, but muddled through without it. And while Pad Thai offered a choice of house Cabernet, Merlot, or Chardonnay, they really should look into carrying bottles of Riesling or Gewurztraminer to pair with the spicy dishes.

It was great to see this out of the way place doing well and serving delicious food and I have some spicy leftovers to enjoy for later.

Pad Thai
8456 Meadowbridge Rd.
Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Pad Thai on Urbanspoon

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