Sawasdee Thai in North Raleigh

We went out with some friends for dinner Friday night. Our daughters are headed off for their freshmen year of college and we were getting together before the girls left for school. Their daughter is headed to Florida and ours will be App State.

We debated for a while about where we should go. I offered several suggestions and we decided on Sawasdee Thai. We drove down Capitol Boulevard and turned in by Rock and Roll Tattoo near the intersection of Capital and Old Buffaloe Road.

Sawasdee’s dining room is relatively small. They seated our party of six near the entry, underneath that amazing wooden carving.

I had been to Sawasdee for lunch and my daughter said she had eaten Thai several times with a friend. I asked the waitress for some help in ordering. She noted their restaurant had offerings similar to other Thai restaurants, favorites on the menu had a heart and spicy food had a star. She explained that you can ask for items to be milder or hotter.

The menu actually has an increasing hierarchy of pain that goes from spicy with one star to extra spicy with two stars and “make you cry” with three stars.

I had eaten the Pad Prik Kra Paw Chicken in my earlier visit and enjoyed it enough to recommend. I also mentioned that my friends who had taken me earlier spoke highly of the fried rice chicken.

Our friends ordered the Pad Prik Kra Paw Chicken. I ordered the spicy fried rice chicken. My wife had the larb chicken. The two college freshmen ordered the red curry.

The Pad Prik Kra Paw Chicken is a traditional stir-fry with garlic, chili, bell peppers, onions and Thai basil leaves served with Thai Jasmine Rice. Our friends asked to have it mild. They ate it all and said it was very good.

The fried rice chicken is fried rice with eggs, onions and tomatoes served on a bed of chicken. It was delicious. The serving size was larger than I could eat.

The larb chicken was a salad of minced chicken in spicy lime dressing with onion, cilantro and mint. My wife was surprised at what she received, ate part of it, but was not impressed. She had eaten Thai food in Thailand, visiting Bangkok last year. She ate mainly seafood while there.

The red curry came in a bowl served with a plate of Thai Jasmine rice. The girls ate the rice and some of the curry. Later, they mentioned it was spicier than they wanted.

We ordered a round of fried spring rolls as appetizers. There was enough for everyone to have one and we all agreed they were delicious. My wife said it was the best part of the meal.

Try Sawasdee. I think you’ll enjoy it.

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