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Monday, November 26, 2007

Thing 89: Red Mei

I got a really nice little note today from Eden at NaBloPoMo. Eden says "if you've stuck with it this far there's no point in giving up now!". Well Eden, I'll have you know, I will NOT give up now, but I would appreciate it if you rigged the random drawing so that I win a prize for all this work. Thanks.

Red Mei looks like a chain, but it is the only one of it's kind! I need to blog about it now, before it becomes the kind of ubiquitous chain restaurant that I usually wrinkle my nose at (by the way, Thing 91 is "Go To Starbucks." Anyone have a problem with that?). But until it goes nationwide, I get to laud it for being an exceptionally delicious local fast food restaurant that has great franchising potential.

Deb once pointed out the simple and unexpected ability for a squeeze of citrus to re-awaken any dish. Well, now I can vouch for this touch. We've all had pad thai, right? It's always good and we can always count on it. But Red Mei's pad thai, with the bright cut of lime through it, makes you sit up and take note of this dish that you've tried so many times before. Likewise, the sauce for the Thai ginger garlic ginger was bright and alive with fresh lemons and limes, and given depth with licorice-y basil and bitter cilantro. I wanted to drink it with a straw.

This small corner restaurant is painted in bright reds and yellows, with Asian-inspired light fixtures and sleek counters running along the walls. It's not a fancy place; you go up to the counter, place your order, and then the cooks fire it up right there. Nothing is sitting around waiting, and everything is made hot and to your specifications. Not bad for a dinner under $10, right?