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Siam Rice on Wells

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Thinking about trying Siam Rice when we are in Chicago next weekend. Looks like a pretty low-key place with a good looking (and inexpensive) menu. Anyone have thoughts one way or another about the place? Would we need reservations?

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  1. never heard of it

    any particular reason you've chosen this restaurant instead of known quantities such as Spoon, Sticky Rice, TAC, Opart, Rosded, Elephant Thai, etc.?

    4 Replies
    1. re: aelph

      Just that it is close to Ford Theater. What can you tell me about the others and the ease of getting from them to the Theater? We have CTA Visitor passes and would prefer to use those instead of a cab.

      1. re: dougieshoney

        Allow an hour to travel to any of the others by el. They are all north of downtown, and there is a construction project on the el about three miles north of downtown. Even without the construction project, it would still take you 30-45 minutes.

        Ford Theater is in the middle of the Loop. I am not aware of any Thai places in the Loop itself, other than Siam Rice, which I have never heard of. You can find decent Thai food at Vong's Thai Kitchen ( www.vongsthaikitchen.com ) just north of the loop in River North (about 3/8 mile north of the theater), and at Amarit Thai ( www.amaritthai.com ) just south of the Loop in the South Loop (about a mile south of the theater). Both are walkable or use your CTA pass to hop a northbound or southbound bus.

        1. re: dougieshoney

          Oh...yeah...

          I just looked at the Cheap Eats column from 2005 on SR's website...now I remember: it made this big splash as an upscale-ish, hip, urban Thai restaurant catering mainly to Loop workers on lunch.

          ...then vanished(as far as I know) from public scrutiny.

          If Amarit Thai in it's new Printer's Row location is open and retains the same kitchen staff of the recently-closed previous incarnation then I agree you should think about dining there...not saying Siam Rice is bad(the menu's safe, but so is Amarit's), just that I last read about it(SR) in 2005.

          1. re: dougieshoney

            I can tell you that the restaurants listed in my first comment are widely-considered some of the best, most-affordable, and "authentic" in Chicago. They are all reachable by CTA(I don't drive and am intimately familar with Chicago's public transit). Spoon, Opart, and Rosded are all located with the same Lincoln Square neighborhood. TAC(my current favorite) is found beneath the tracks of the Sheridan stop on the red line. As opined above, travel times with construction *can* be irritating. Not quite as long as suggested in the comment above, but tedious nonetheless. At Spoon or TAC you want to ask for the translated menu and check for specials.

        2. So, would you be going to Siam Rice pre-theatre? If that's the case, then the other (better) Thai places would be a schlep and probably don't make much sense (aleph is right...the construction hasn't made things as bad as warned but it's still a pain). Anyway, Siam Rice is pretty average middle of the road Thai. I've been a few times for lunch. One time I even got a nice cardboard tube buried in my food, so that was fun.

          Seriously, if you need somewhere to eat pre-theatre you may want to check out some other options (my personal preference is Atwood Cafe). You may need to spend a few extra dollars, but it will be worth it. If you're just looking for Thai food, get up to TAC Quick and order off the Thai menu.

          1. Siam Rice is fine for loop dwellers looking for thai for lunch during the workday, or we tended to order it when working late at the office. It isn't really somewhere I would go for Thai on a whim. Again, it is passable, close to our office, and convenient for the above reasons......

            I've eaten it quite a lot over the years, sometimes better than others (probably depending on the chef), but like others have said, for a pre-theatre meal, there are definitely other options, including Atwood Cafe, 312 Chicago, and lots of other places in the vicinity.

            I also like Vong's Thai Kitchen, which is just across the river from the loop, but again, it isn't the best thai in the city, but it is a nicer/upscale restaurant if you are looking for that type of vibe and want to stay close to the loop.....