Where We’re Eating: AmeriThai

If you’re going to open a Thai spot within walking distance of Circles — still the best Thai within city limits — you’d better bring your A-game. Unfortunately, the folks behind AmeriThai, a new spot next to Nick’s Charcoal Pit don’t have a clue what they’re doing. From gummy satays and the grease-oozing, undercooked slop pile they’re trying to pass off as a Thai corn cake, to the kind of service that will make your blood boil, to the flies swarming my plates, I couldn’t wait to pay my check and walk out the door. And when a cockroach scurried by my feet in the dining room, that walk became more of a run.

1244 Snyder Avenue

Tuk Tuk Real Opening with Free Food


Tuk Tuk Real, the Thai taqueria from Circles Thai owner chef Alex Boonphaya and his sous chef Silvestre Rincon is softly opening tomorrow evening, September 10th. Located at 429 South Street, the soft opening begins at 6 p.m. with complimentary food and refreshments. The grand opening is Thursday at 5 p.m.

Boonphaya and Rincon have combined their Thai and Mexican influences to create a menu full of dishes such as Lamb Massaman Nachos, Lemongrass Carnitas Tacos and Moo Ping Burritos.

Tuk Tuk Real will be open daily. For more details check out our Tuk Tuk Real listing.

Check out the full menu » 

Free Lunch at Circles Thai

Alex-Boonphaya-Circles-Photo-by-Courtney-AppleOn Tuesday, November 26th chef and owner Alex Boonphaya is giving away lunch at Circles in South Philadelphia to celebrate the Thai restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

Everyone who stops by the restaurant between noon and 2 p.m. will get to choose among Basil Fried Rice, Pumpkin Curry, Tofu Pad Thai and Pad Prik Khing with Tofu.

Limit one dish per person.

Circles Thai – South Philadelphia [Foobooz]

Circles Hosts Beer Dinner for Philippine Relief


Alex Boonphaya | Photo by Courtney Apple

Circles Thai in Northern Liberties has been planning a beer dinner on Thursday, November 14th with upstart Saint Benjamin Brewing Company for some time now. But with the devastation of the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan, Circles chef and owner Alex Boonphaya has changed the dinner into a fundraiser. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the four-course, $35 beer dinner will go to relief efforts.

Reservations are available for 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. seatings and can be made online.

The menu » 

Thai Singha House Is on the Move


The Hub, the brightly colored apartment building that houses Distrito on the first floor is getting a sibling. Property has the story on Hub 2, that is springing up adjacent to the Hub along Chestnut Street at 40th Street. Being lost in the Hub 2 development is Thai Singha House, which is relocating to 3900 Chestnut Street this September. For now Thai Singha is only available via delivery.

A University City Sequel: The Hub, Part Deux [Property]
Thai Singha House [Official Site]

Adam Erace reviews South Philly’s Ratchada


From Cafe de Laos to Ratchada, the South Philly Thai/Lao haven may have changed its name, but to Erace, it’s still bringing the heat—both literally and metaphorically.

…the heat of the crushed red chilies colliding with the sweet of palm sugar, sour of lime juice and salty of fish sauce and peanuts in the chaotic harmony that underscores Thai cooking. They flamed the tom zap, the lemony soup from the north poured over chopped spare ribs that separated from their bones like bananas from their peels, and the tom kha, the quenching coconut soup from the south best provisioned with tender curls of pink shrimp. They electrified the laab duck, finely minced bits of tender meat, unctuous fat and candy-shell skin greened with cilantro and scallion, blended with bell pepper, red onion, pineapple, lime, fish sauce and roasted sticky rice — an uncommon ingredient made from roasting raw grains with lemongrass, kaffir-lime leaves and galangal and grinding the mix into a toasty herbal gunpowder. The flavorful, dynamic mix was piled over lettuce, though to call it a salad would be like calling a T. rex a lizard.

Ratchada Brings Together the Big Flavors of Thailand and Laos [City Paper]
Ratchada [Official Site]

Two Bells for CHeU Noodle Bar

The Cheu mascot?

Craig LaBan visits CHeU Noodle Bar, the decidedly untraditional Asian restaurant by Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh.

The barbecue pig tails may be my favorite new bar food of the year, the sublimely tender shreds of meat, spiced with togarashi and hickory smoked, slip right off their wing-nut-shaped bones in a finger-licking Korean barbecue glaze. Paired with kimchi-cured ramps, fermented far longer than the standard cabbage, a plate of these tails should automatically trigger a round from the former BYOB’s new list of craft canned beer. (The $3 Bud and Pabst are for Puchowitz and Darragh, respectively.)

Also a must is the gingery broccoli sauteed with house-made Vietnamese sausage crumbles, fish sauce, and lime. The paku ribs, cut from an oversize piranha relative, are roasted with crispy tamarind-glazed skin over charred corn salad, and were uncannily like tender white pork ribs.

Two Bells – Very Good

CHeU Noodle Bar: Intriguing, tasty ramen [Philadelphia Inquirer]
CHeU Noodle Bar [Official Site]

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