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Thai by Thai's September special

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The Sterling location has 3 monthly specials listed for September.

I just finished the Pla Goong from the specials menu, a shrimp and lemongrass salad. It is full of torn lettuce (possibly Romaine), red onion, scallions, lemongrass, and shrimp, all in a nicely balanced citrus and lemongrass sauce with just a bit of heat. I'm hoping this dish makes it onto the regular or secret Thai menu. It was about the right size for a single dish lunch.

This dish could ALMOST make me forget how wonderful their far less healthy fried pork dishes are.

I can't speak to the Fairfax location at the intersection of 29 and 50. Has anyone been there lately?

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  1. Secret Thai menu? Secret Thai MENU???
    What is this, and how do I get access?
    Can you share the secret handshake?

    I love the food @ their Fairfax location. Drunken noodles!!! Yum.... but maybe I should branch out.

    Now, if there are good stuffs I need to know the details. What have you been eating, and how do I get some of that?

    I am well aware of the separate "chinese" menu that many chinese places have... where the *good stuff* is hiding. Pull back the curtain! Reveal the Wizard!

    3 Replies
    1. re: bubba3197

      I didn't know there was a Sterling version - and certainly not a "secret" menu. Wow.

      I love Thai by Thai in Fairfax - now I have things to look for!!

      1. re: MarietteB

        The food there is seriously good. Probably my favorite Thai food in NoVa.

      2. re: bubba3197

        Been a bit since I've been there, but the menu isn't horribly secret - at least at the Sterling location. It used to be on a laminated page by the register, just look for it and ask if you don't see it. Used to be small, but worth ordering from.

      3. What Dennis S said about the not-so-secret menu in Sterling is true in Fairfax as well. There is an English translation for all the items so it's not too difficult. And the workers there are friendly. I think you do have to ask for the soup ingredients though, which I haven't tried because I'm too wimpy to handle the organ meats that some or all of them have.

        What I like from that menu is -- sorry I don't know the official names so I can just offer a description -- broccoli with pork, and also the pork ribs (which are very spicy). I haven't tried the clams yet but they also look great from what I saw on another table. If anyone has other suggestions I would love to hear.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KeithW

          There is another fried pork belly dish on the Thai menu, same cut as the pork with Chinese Broccoli, but fried with a dry spice mix. It is ridiculously good, assuming you can cope with the crunchy fatty goodness that is fried pork belly.

          The fried pork ribs are on the bone. They are not spicy by themselves, but they come with a genuinely incendiary dipping sauce.

          1. re: PollyG

            The dry-fried pork belly sounds really great. Same for the fried ribs.

        2. OK, its true, its true.

          Went over to TBT in Fairfax for lunch today. I'm looking around and don't see any special thai menu anywhere. When we get to the counter, in a hushed-voice, I nonchanlantly ask if there is a secret Thai menu....

          She pauses for a moment, looks me over, and then she lights up... "oh yeah!" she exclaims. Out comes the laminated sheet from under the counter. Why do they keep it out of sight, so that nobody knows about it, unless they have been told???

          Anyhow, some really good stuff on the super-secret menu. Thanks for the tip!!!

          I recommend you try the Chive dumpling appetizer -- very good -- and very different from any chinese chive dumpling you may have had.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bubba3197

            In this area, there may quite a few Thai restaurants with 'secret' menus. Keeping it hidden is the preemptive strike of 'You No Like' Syndrome.

            1. re: Steve

              Good to know! I'll have to randomly ask at some to see where they exist. Thanks for tips.

          2. There is a noodle soup on the Thai menu at Thai by Thai Fairfax that I think is new -- called Roddeedeet. Pork and pork "meatballs" with noodles in a rich broth. The broth and noodles are somewhat reminiscent of pho. A taste of what I think is white pepper -- or some Thai spice similar to white pepper. (Sorry I lack the descriptive food vocabulary that some of you have). Worth going to get, especially on a cold, wet day.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KeithW

              There's a new duck soup that's definitely worth stopping by for if you're in the area. This weekend I was perusing the "not-so-secret" Thai menu and the woman behind the counter suggested it even though it's not on the menu yet. It's similar to the soup I described above but it's, y'know, duck -- and noodles, chinese bok choy, and it comes with a garlic vinegar sauce that I chose to dip into selectively rather than dump completely into the soup since it does change the flavor significantly. The duck skin isn't crispy -- not sure if it could be in a soup like that. Another great option for great flavors without the offal.

              1. re: KeithW

                One of the best dishes I had in Bangkok-- or anywhere for that matter-- was a peppery noodle soup with bits of fried something (pork?).