Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mai Thai: Carlos and Steve WERE Impressed

Guest Blogger: Steve Scott

We were impressed!

Confession: I am sick and tired of Thai restaurants. Partly because I am guilty of ordering the same things repeatedly and partly because mediocre Thai restaurants can be found on every corner nowadays.

Mai Thai is completely hidden by construction scaffolding. It is on the first floor of an office building that is undergoing a complete renovation. (I don't know why, it seemed to be a perfectly good building before). I have ignored Mai Thai countless times, even before it was hidden by scaffolding. Carlos and I decided to give them a chance.

Once you brave the scaffolding maze, you are rewarded by entering into a beautiful & peaceful dining room. The hectic street and construction disappear as soon you walk in. Service was perfect, especially for a hurried lunch crowd. How do they train people to be so attentive and competent?

We started with spring rolls. Two long, slendor spring rolls served with standard dipping sauce. OK, but in retrospect, probably not worth the calories.

Now to the good stuff. Carlos, our Pad Thai enthusiast, insisted it was really good and suggested I sample. He was not kidding! It made me love Pad Thai again. Fresh, perfectly balanced ingredients. I ordered the special, therefore, I don't remember the name and can't find it on the regular menu. Four large steamed shrimp in a bed of minced chicken and sprinkled with crabmeat. The minced chicken was slighty sweet and spicy. The shrimp had a perfect texture and the crabmeat was a heavenly treat. It was presented nicely and tasted even better. It was served with a bowl of white rice. My instinct was to skip most of the rice. Until I tasted it - yummy!

Since Mai Thai passed the "Carlos/Steve Pad Thai Test", we decided to give them the "Carlos/Steve Sticky Rice & Mango test". After the sticky rice and mango failure we experienced last week at another restaurant, I was a bit hesitant. Not to worry, it was the real deal. The sticky rice was exactly as you would want it. Just sweet, sticky, & warm enough. True comfort food. The mango was fresh and flavorful. If Patrick was around, we might have ventured into more exotic territory on the menu. But, Carlos and I like the standards. Mai Thai does the standards well. We will be back.

Mai Thai
1200 19th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036
(Also located at 6 King Street in Oldtown Alexandria)

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