Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sweet basil thai...

Last year I bought The Entertainment Book. You know the one, full of coupons for your given area, often kids sell them as fundraisers for schools or organizations. I have never been good about using enough of the coupons to make it worth it but I always think I am going to. This year I have been quite persistent in righting some wrongs, and this coupon book is one of them. We are such creatures of habit in my house that I thought it was time we ventured out of our restaurant comfort zone and have some new (and hopefully VERY tasty) adventures. Not to say we never try anything new, just that we don't try it enough.

Our most recent venture was fantastic Thai food at Sweet Basil Thai, in downtown/NW Portland. I thought the best part was the buy one entree, get one entree free coupon, but one bite and I knew the best part was truly the food.

We had the Beef Mussamun, a beef curry with almost a peanut sauce flavor. Peanut and curry is a great combination, and the beef is slow cooked for four hours. The result is truly tender, beautifully flavored beef. It reminded me of a pot roast, served with potato and carrots in a beautiful Thai curry sauce. This was also served with a side of white and sweet jasmine rice, served in the shaped of a star and a moon.

The other dish was Pad Tom Yum, with ground chicken, egg, basil, green onions, and stir fried rice noodles. This dish was spicy and full of flavor, with a hint of lemongrass, and as we were enjoying the meal I decided that it's time I start cooking Thai.

The restaurant is on the smaller side, clean, contemporary, and the service was wonderful. We wanted to try something new and our server made several suggestions based on flavor and spice, and he did not steer us wrong. You can request levels of spiciness on some dishes, and they will also bring you a spice caddy. It contains dried red peppers, sambal, and a soy sauce/fish sauce combination with chili peppers and lime marinating in it. The latter is a tad salty but has great flavor, and the sambal was wonderful on the Pad Tom Yum. This is one we will visit again.

In doing a little research I found that there are many ways to spell Mussamun. I found everything from Masaman to Mussaman, and on these menus it was Mussamun. Mussamun curry paste is sold in a can, apparently this is one to buy rather than make from scratch. Hopefully my next trip to H-Mart will prove fruitful.

Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine (NW Glisan) on Urbanspoon


  1. Mmmm, thai food. We have a good thai place around here that we never manage to go to. Heh. :)

  2. I love thai is your garden doing? My friend has a similar book, but we never remember to look for places that are in it...not to self...use book!!!

  3. Please pass the fish sauce! Love Thai food. We were introduced to a great, authentic place that's really cheap. We're going back!

  4. What delicious food! I love Thai! I would love it if you cooked some and shared the recipes!

  5. Your photos are spectacular. I envy the wide range of restaurants you have to choose from.

  6. Great food photos - I adore Thai food and have been craving some recently, will have to start exercising my Thai taste buds again!

  7. Oh my...I have not eaten thai in quite a whil and now I am going to be craving some Pad Thai and sweetened tea. Need your coupon!