Don't let the grimy outward appearance of this Thai, Uptown eatery scare you far away, never to return again. It may look
like an old, rundown, Asian movie theater (only much smaller), but Siam Noodle and Rice is actually one of the best Thai restaurants in the whole of Chicago. And that's on top of being cheap!
Seriously, just about everything here is absolutely delicious (in conjunction with being 100 percent authentic). For example, the appetizers include cucumber salad, egg rolls, baby egg rolls, chicken basil rolls, crab Rangoon, fried tofu, pot stickers, steamed chive dumpling and more ($3-$8). Or, for something more substantial, try the hot chef specials which include the basel duck, the pad prig khing (prig khing pepper sauce stir-fried with your choice of beef, chicken, pork or tofu), greens with roasted duck, basil beef meatball or the pad ped fishball (sliced fishball stir-fried with spicy pepper sauce, basil leaves, bamboo shoot and ground hot pepper over steamed rice) with prices that range from $6.50-$7.25.
Then there's the "hot and spicy, home-style Thai," our favorite part of the menu, which includes deep-fried chicken served with spicy home-made sauce on the side, fried dried beef, Thai pork sausage, papaya salad, bamboo shoot salad, nam tok (sliced boiled beef tossed with red onion, ground rice, mint leaves, ground dried chili, cilantro and onion) and tom yum boiled beef and meatball ($5.25-$7.25).
Don't forget to try the unforgettable Thai ice tea—you won't sleep for days and you'll be going to the bathroom all night, but you'll hardly notice as all you'll be thinking about is how damn good that Thai ice tea was.
Uptown might not be the safest neighborhood to eat food at these days, but frankly, isn't it worth it to eat at Siam Noodle and Rice? We certainly think so.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore