Dan Thai

You’d never guess this Thai restaurant, tucked in the back corner of a strip-mall, would be so popular and delicious. It’s popularity stems from word-of-mouth; personally hearing about its splendor from my boss who was born and raised in Thailand. I searched the reviews on Yelp and found few with less than 4 stars. Since my first visit, I’ve been back two more times just to try a new dish.

Once inside Dan Thai, you’re greeted with warmth, a slightly scummy fish tank and Buddhist figurines. A young, energetic waitress seats you and takes your order. The communication barrier clearly makes her nervous and she overcompensates with niceness and occasional out-of-place laughter.  Try ordering Veggie Spring Rolls, Pad Se-Ew with Tofu and hot tea.  The Spring Rolls are actually made with that clear rice paper most restaurants fail to use.  Inside a strong basil aroma seeps out, and the only thing that could possibly improve these would be a small helping of mint leaves.  The hot tea comes with two espresso-shot sized, cute, teal glasses with a miniature handle your pinky finger would have a hard time fitting inside matching the genie-in-a-bottle tea-pot. When your meal comes, make sure to ask for hot sauce. She brings over a caddy filled with three separate spices. Cayenne seeds in oil, garlic-chili sauce and a spicy powder.  The oil will burn your lips off, which I find appealing.  The meal is cooked just right with fresh ingredients and slightly crispy tofu nuggets.  Other occasions to this restaurant would allow me to also recommend Rama Thai Noodles, Kee Mao Noodle and the Crisp Noodle, but only if you ask that they use wide noodles instead of the skinny egg noodles. 

The best waitress doesn’t work on Mondays, so I’d stay away on this day. The second time we went the waitress forgot the soup and brought my food out ten minutes before the other two people I went with.  A little odd, but still a superb meal.  If you are looking for a new Thai place in the Schaumburg area, definitely consider Dan Thai.

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