I dropped into balmy Chicago for work in early December. This is me, looking northish from South Michigan Avenue on a particularly mild and temperate afternoon.
Yup, it pretty much snowed every day I was there. How soon we forget! Sigh.
Memories are funny things. My first night back in Chicago, I went over to Aileen’s for dinner–strangely, I haven’t mentioned Aileen all that much before–and we ordered in from Penny’s Noodles on Diversey.
Now firstly, when I left Chicago, Penny’s didn’t deliver. Now they do! And secondly, when I left Chicago, I was convinced that Penny’s offered some of the best value and most delicious Thai food in town.
My how things change. You can guess what happened. My pad se eu from Penny’s was just plain awful in comparison to the Pad Se Eu at Suchard on Tooley Street (which, strangely, I don’t seem to have ever written up). It was also no match for the pad se eu at Thai Thai on Old Street. And let me emphasize that these two local restaurants aren’t necessarily the best around. They’re just normal everyday spots. I was so very disappointed in Penny’s; in the hours leading up to dinner, I was practically salivating. You can never go back, huh?
We had high hopes upon entering. The place was PACKED with Vietnamese families. Generations upon generations. I had a good feeling. Service was prompt and efficient, if almost TOO efficient. (They REALLY wanted us to place our order.)
Our server recommended a particular dish, whose name, at this late date, escapes me, which makes me and my blog entirely worthless, I know. It was a large dish with practically every kind of meat/seafood known to man in it. If I were looking for variety, this was it in buckets. Alas, it all seemed like old meat. Reheated meat. I was disappointed. Disappointed too in the Vietnamese pancake, which did not reach the deliciousness of the same dish at Au Lac. Another big sigh.
All was not lost, however…things on the dining front started to look up soon enough…