Photos by Rod Dee Thai Cuisine, Words by Shari Idelson
To some, when thinking of comfort food, they envision a few slices of pizza or a bagel with cream cheese. The meal that gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling usually involves some variation of Thai food. That said, I have tried my absolute hardest to find the best Thai food in the Boston area so that a big bowl of Tom Yum soup or a styrofoam box filled with Pad Thai can accompany me while studying for a big exam.
When I moved to Boston a couple years ago, a friend had me over for some Thai takeout from Rod Dee Thai Cuisine. My staple first order at Thai restaurants is Yellow Curry, because it’s a classic. I believe that my feeling about a Thai restaurant’s Yellow Curry is usually a pretty good indicator of my decision to return or not.
To my delight, the Yellow Curry from Rod Dee was fantastic. I ordered Yellow Curry with chicken, which was supplemented by crisp vegetables, pineapple, and potato. The portion size was huge; in fact, I had enough to take home for my lunch the next day. Rod Dee serves their curry dishes on top of a bed of white rice. If you decide to order the curry for pick-up or delivery, I recommend asking for the rice to be placed in a separate container, as the rice absorbs much of the curry and can become a bit too soggy for my taste.
With the Yellow Curry living up to my standards, I decided to bring my parents to Rod Dee for a casual, delicious lunch. We ordered the Pad Thai with shrimp, and a simple chicken with cashew nuts and onion house sautéed plate. We all agreed that the sautéed plate was good, but nothing too special. However, the Pad Thai treated our taste buds extraordinarily well. The rice noodles weren’t too dry, the shrimp was cooked perfectly, and the crushed peanuts on top added a pleasant crunch. My parents and I are not the lightest of eaters, but thanks to Rod Dee’s generous portions, we left the restaurant completely stuffed after only ordering two plates of food.
More recently, I went back to Rod Dee with a group of friends who are regulars. I wanted to try something new this visit, so I ordered the fresh rolls with shrimp and peanut sauce (which are not actually on the menu, but they will make them if you ask!) and the Pad Kra Pao (Thai Basil Chicken over rice). I’m convinced that anything with peanut sauce or basil can taste good, but regardless of these two yummy ingredients, I was once again very satisfied with my meal. The minced chicken in the Pad Kra Pao was very flavorful and just the right spice for my liking. Rod Dee is always good about catering the level of spice to meet your needs.
The fresh rolls did not contain much shrimp, but made a delicious (and healthy!) appetizer. In my opinion, the best kinds of appetizers are ones that are enjoyable, but don’t quite fill you up so you can still enjoy your main course.
One of my friends goes to Rod Dee so often that the woman who works there greets him and knows his usual order! His personal favorites are the Tom Yum soup and the Basil Pad Thai. The Tom Yum soup really is something special. I usually order it with vegetables, which are extremely fresh and always have a good crunch to them. The Basil Pad Thai is even more delicious than the regular Pad Thai. But I’m biased, of course, because basil to me is the king of all herbs.
Rod Dee has proven to be consistent, and therefore my go-to comfort Thai food in the Boston area. The restaurant itself is cafeteria-like but provides plenty of dining space to eat a sit-down meal. If I’m not in the mood to eat-in, or if I have an exam to study for, it’s always easy to pick up the phone to order and know that delicious food will arrive at my doorstep in less than 45 minutes. I will warn you that they only accept cash, so don’t forget to stop at an ATM before you go! However, the food is incredibly affordable, and some of the best Thai around town. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Rod Dee Thai Cuisine
94 Peterborough St, Boston
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 am-10:30 pm, Sun Noon-10:30 pm
Other locations in Coolidge Corner, Washington Square, and Porter Square
Delivery and Take-Out available