Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thai Pepper: Oh, dear.

Look closely. What's wrong with this picture of pad see-ew?

Well okay. Maybe there's a lot to talk about here. The broccoli instead of jie lan (Chinese broccoli), the dry-looking noodles, the scallions scattered on top and the ramekin of vinegar on the side for—dipping? Who knows. What startled me the most, however, was the healthy scattering of coarse black pepper strewn all over the top of the noodles.

Inauthenticity doesn't usually ruin my meal as long as the final dish tastes good. Unfortunately, I might have to place this one, from Thai Pepper, at the top of my bad pad see-ew experiences. The black pepper gave everything an unpleasant, gritty texture. The egg, which is usually in nice, fried chunks, was more like a thin, bumpy coating over the noodles, like a curdled carbonara. The beef pieces were chewy and tough. I ate it, but seriously, the dish was like no pad see-ew I'd ever encountered. Take that as you will.

A bite of MC's pad thai proved to be much better, which made me wonder how there could be such a disparity in noodle-dish execution. I may go back to Thai Pepper for pad thai, but I won't be ordering the pad see-ew again.

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