I'm Really Getting Bored With Thai Restaurants
I got takeout from a local Thai restaurant last week, and as I was perusing the menu it struck me that it looked almost exactly like the menus at ten other local Thai restaurants. Bo-ring! But surely each place has some hidden gems, right?
So, what are some interesting dishes I should look for on Thai menus as an alternative to the old standbys?
I know exactly what you are talking about. I tend not to go to Thai all that often because of it.
Instead, what I do is look for key markers, as with Chinese places, sometimes a dish can be named the same at at both restaurants but one restaurants take more 'care' in it. So I ask about Thai Egg Plant, Chinese Brocolli and Morning Glory. I also ask the hostess what is the restaurant's 'specialty'.
I assume you mean things like red, green and yellow curry? I happend to like those though, and creating different sauce/ meat / veg combos guarantees hours of fun!
Ok, I'm no fan of Thai food either, BUT ... read the menu like a love letter ... scrutinize it ... read it again ... what haven't you seen before elsewhere?
Collect take-out menus and then compare them. What is different?
Then step out of your comfort zone and order that.
What gets me insane is that people order the same dishes over and over ... the stop light curries ... red, yellow and green.
What is SO totally annoying is that even with restaurants that have something interesting and different ... restaurant reviewers tend to glom on the familiar and not mention or try to educatate their readers on the unusual.
Have you noticed Issan dishes on the menus of the Thai restaurants near you?
When I need a break from duck curry or pad king, I go for the green papaya salad. Absolutely NOTHING like red/yellow/green curry. A local Thai chain here has "angry catfish" on their menu - very spicy and flavorful.
An extreme option would be to take a week or so and go to Thailand.