It's kind of gross outside lately. Perhaps we're about to pay for what was a relatively mild summer with a long and brutal winter. At least we don't have the Super Bowl to worry about this go around. Instead we can focus our attention on remedies that warm us from the inside out. The curries, stir-fries and other dishes of Thai cuisine hit with a heavy dose of chili that can make our skin pink and our noses runny -- just like a long walk through the snow.
Eat up. The green shoots and flower buds of March are far, far away.
Pakpao Thai Food (pictured above) If heat is your thing, Pakpao is a good place to be. Curries here are inherently spicy, not because you've ordered one through five stars but because heat is inherent in many of chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin's recipes. If you don't want hot, ask a waitress and you'll be happily pointed towards dishes that are more mild. If you want hotter, go with the green or massaman curries. If you want hotter still, Thretipthuangsin has a condiment or two made especially for you.
Malai Malai may lose favor with some for its quirky plating (sharing here is tough) and timid cooking (you won't find any tripe on the menu here) but the dishes are made with good, fresh ingredients and the flavors are big. Come for happy hour and enjoy the appetizers that are easily the best part of the menu on the cheap.
Bambu Come to Bambu if you're feeling adventurous and want to try new things. While most Thai restaurants focus on plain old Thai food, Bambu offers Isaan-style Thai specialties from the the nation's northeastern region. Still feeling cold? The bowl of tom kha gai served here is massive.
Bangkok City Bangkok City is the place you wish you had in your own neighborhood. It's no frills, inexpensive and the food can be ordered as hot as you can stand it. While the menu asks that you order dishes with one to five stars worth of heat, there are actually no limits. Order the crispy duck, thirty-five stars. I triple dog dare you.
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This East Dallas restaurant may be the warmest Thai spot in all of Dallas and it has nothing to do with the chilies. The owners here are so nice they'll likely give you a hug when you come in from the cold, and with food like this you won't stay chilly long. Start with the stuffed chicken wings and sip on a glass of whatever you brought with you. Sakhuu is BYOB. Whiskey anyone?
You might wish winter would last a little longer.