Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bodhi Thai Bistro

 I'm not sure how many readers here live in Northern Indiana or Chicagoland, but if any of you  are passing through Chicago, there is a hidden little gem of a restaurant we found a couple of months ago while in the area.

Bodhi Thai Bistro - Berwyn

There is Thai restaurant near the Range.  It's fine for "takeout, get something on the drive in after a week of work", but I'd not drive out of my way for it.  Now this place, I'd happily make the drive to get there for another meal.
The beautiful front  window is it's only announcement, no neon signs, no lines of folks waiting as in down the street for their famous "red hot" hot dog".  It's on a quiet stretch of Roosevelt in West Chicagoland,  just west of Austin (and across from a bright blue Tire and Battery place you can't miss). There is some street parking but we went around the corner and had no problem finding a little line of slanted parking spots on a quiet side street as parallel parking the extended cab black Bat Truck is never any fun.

It was very elegant inside, a quiet place for a "date night" or a casual lunch. 

Behind the stove is the son of another well known restaurant, The Dharma Garden's and he has learned the trade well at a young age.  There are the traditional Thai dishes, one of which I had, but what really is unique is the "secret menu", the daily specials, which has recently included Roast Duck curry,  garlicky, peppery fried chicken; two kinds of pork-rice sausage; a beef “waterfall salad” redolent with lime, mint and toasted rice powder; and hunks of crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli in a clingy paste of red chilies, garlic and oyster sauce. This is a talented master of the kitchen, not afraid to express a little artistry with the freshest of foods.
First an appetizer,something I'd never seen at my usual spot, Gui-Chai,chive dumplings which were steamed, then pan fried until the outside edges were perfectly crispy, and the insides soft and fragrant, served with a sweet/spicy sauce.  Kanom Gui Chai originated from the Teochew Chinese immigrants, it is said,  made as a part of their offering to pay respect to their gods during the ceremonies, (which are more than a half dozen times a year and if you add in their 6 other special spirits and gods that get separate offerings, that's a lot of occasions for this tasty treat) .  They are often steamed but steaming and frying really made them stand out and I almost wished I'd ordered a plate, just for myself.
Partner went for the Duck Curry with Pineapple that was on the daily board  (the secret menu) It had big chunks of slow roasted duck, not meat merely simmered or pan fried. We were seated away from the windows, at a quiet little table, but with low light, the food photos don't do the dishes justice but you get the idea.
I had a traditional cashew chicken, but with big chunks of really fresh, tenderly cooked chicken, and a sauce  with an amazing depth of flavor that had me spooning it over the rice.  It was honestly the best I'd ever had, and I've eaten at some good Thai places.  Midwest Chick and I like to do Thai on the occasional girl's night out when we can (which is always fun as the dainty, very fair skinned blond that she is, explains "no, I want it THAI HOT, REALLY, REALLY, THAI HOT, forget the skin, forget the hair.")
Partner and I went for just "hot", and they nailed it.  But you an order it as mild or flaming as you want.

Normally with generous portions like this, we take half of it home for another meal.  We cleaned our plates, leaving only some rice.  Even better, the whole dinner for two, including appetizer, was $31, including tax.

As we drove back home, we already talked about coming back for dinner another weekend.

Hey, try and parallel park THAT!


  1. Parallel parking with a tracked vehicle could be easy if you don't mind curb checking or tossing your track on occasion.

    1) Pull parallel with the spot;
    2) Turn in place 90 degrees;
    3) Drive forward into spot and partially onto the sidewalk; and
    4) Turn back 90 degrees.

  2. Thanks Daniel! But the problem is more that it's an extended cab, long bed, full size 4 x 4. There aren't spaces on the street big enough, even if I could teleport the truck directly in there, like on Star Trek :-)


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