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Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine-2/11/2011

Website

Location: 6421 15th Ave NW

Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 11-9:30

Fri: 11-10

Sat: 3-10

Sun: 12-9:30

Time to visit the first of four Thai restaurants in Ballard.

Mae Ploy Thai is tucked in an odd little building on the corner of 15th and 65th, across the street from Zesto’s. If you don’t know Ballard well, you’d probably miss it. The décor is typical of most family run, hole-in-the-wall Thai/Teriyaki/Pho places. Colorful cloth on the windows. Wooden masks on the wall. A fish tank in the corner. Tiny, tiny kitchen.

It seems to be the nearby neighborhood, quickie take-out restaurant. There seemed to be a lot of traffic for their delivery service since the phone kept ringing while we were there. Otherwise, we were the only customers in the place.

The Service:

Very friendly. We had two different people helping us a nice, young guy and an older woman. Both were helpful and polite. When my first choice for a drink wasn’t available, the woman was able to tell me the alternates quickly. Our food came out in fine amount of time. It did take a little longer than usual for them to bring us our check but we chalked that up to the kitchen dealing with a consistently ringing phone.

The Drinks:

J had a glass of Riesling and I a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines were nice but nothing special.

The Food:

Appetizer:

One order of Pot Stickers done Thai style, deep fried with pork and vegetable with black bean sauce. Both of us really liked these. The filling was savory with just a touch of saltiness and the sauce was very tasty. I have no idea what they put in the “black bean sauce” considering the name doesn’t do it justice. It was thicker than the pot sticker sauce you find in Chinese restaurants and much less vinegary. It had a sweet, almost plumy taste that mixed well with the pork.

Entrees:

I had the Pad Khee-Mao, wide rice noodles pan-fried with egg, broccoli, bell pepper, onion, carrot, tomatoes, mushroom, bamboo shoots, chili sauce, Thai basil and chicken. I requested 2.5 stars for spiciness, which was executed well. There was slight spiciness with each bite then an after burn that kind of caught up. The sauce was well flavored, the vegetables were not over cooked and the chicken pieces were well cooked. Overall it was a good Pad Khee-Mao.

J ordered the Massaman Curry, curry paste, coconut milk, potatoes, carrot, pineapple, peanut, onion and fried tofu. As I did, he requested a 2.5 star spiciness. Upon tasting it, he felt that it was way too mild. He judged it to be barely a 1 star, especially compared to my dish. This may have been a mis-communication with the server but he was disappointed in the lack of spice.

Otherwise, as a Massaman Curry fan, he liked the flavor of the dish. He enjoyed difference the fried tofu gave to the texture of the curry. The vegetables were well cooked. All in all, it was good except for the lack of spiciness.

The Price:

2 glasses of wine: $4.75 ea.

Pot Stickers: $5.95

Pad Khee-Mao: $8.50

Massaman Curry: $8.95

Side of Rice: $1.75

The Verdict:

In the realm of hole-in-the-wall Thai places it would be placed right in the middle. Neither horrible nor amazing. If we were really lazy and didn’t want to schlep into Ballard proper for Thai, we might go to Mae Ploy again. Maybe … but probably not. It just wasn’t anything special.