Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

August 20, 2006

A Star in the Windy City


I spent the whole day in the Cook County Clerks office in Chicago. What a lovely building the people of Chicago own. Look at the elevator door detail, quite fab if you ask me. My interaction with the young new employees (kids) versus the old timers was startling. The kids just don't know how to retrieve information on paper, they had to have the PIN to look it up on the computer. Well, property transfers before 1951 are not in the computer, so the kids did not think the property existed. Anyway, one old timer knew where the property recorder books were, and I was able to get the info I needed. After thinking I needed to tell the kids about the slide-rule and t-squares of my day, and having to do math in my head and not on a calculator, I was hungry and called up my friend Bea for dinner. Bea is a fire eater, and last time we had dinner it was full of crushed Asian red peppers.I was not sure what was in store, but it was going to be tasty because Bea is all about the food. We walked up to Michigan Ave to The Star of Siam. This was a very nicely decorated restaurant with a lot of natural light, exposed beams and tastefully homey decorations. Since Star is a Thai restaurant, I was thinking we were going to eat fire again, but Bea said she would give me a break on the red chili pepper heat this time.
We started off with a little chicken and beef Satay and peanut sauce withe a side of cucumber salad. Yum, everything is better with peanut sauce. Will peanut sauce ever become the new salsa? Then we had Tom Ga Kai soup for 2. The bowl they brought to us was easily meant for 4-6 people. The soup was packed with chicken, Asian green veggies, a couple root veggies I am not familiar with, and mushrooms. Fresh, fun and good. Our main dishes were generous portions of Basil Beef with Tomato, and Chow Fun with veggies. I love Chow Fun because they are extra wide rice noodles that have a good teeth feel, and lightness in texture. Also, how can a food with the word "fun" in it, not be fun? Huh? I make a good point huh - it was fun.
The food here tasted good to me. The dishes were brought to us piping hot, and freshly made. There was no holding back dishes under the heat lamp (too much time under a heat lamp ruins a perfectly good dish). The shocker was the prices for these dishes - ALL of our dishes were UNDER $10. For about $17 per person we walked out of there stuffed to the gills, and with leftovers that were enough for 2 big meals for Bea for later. Michigan Ave is so over-priced, and it was boggling my mind how this lovely Thai restaurant could be so reasonable priced, tasty and a haven from the pretense of the expensive shee-shee shopping district. I really liked my experience at the Star of Siam because I felt cool walking around Michigan Ave, it was nice to be served well by hard working waiters, and it was surprising to pay a paupers penny for the luxury of it all! Ms Cheap would be proud!


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