AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: My Ten Favorite Dishes: #4 DATE: 6/05/2008 09:53:00 AM ----- BODY:
All this talk of Pad Thai, besides making me hungry, was really a lead-up to the fourth dish on my 10 favorite dishes in Boston.

Believe it or not, on this trip to Thailand, I did sample a few other dishes including my new favorite vegetable “Pok Bong,” morning glory leaves. Crunchy with a slight “creaminess” to it in a light brown sauce: it was the perfect balance for all the noodles I was eating. Upon my return to Boston, friends told me that Brown Sugar Café not only has the most authentic Thai cuisine, but it also serves Pok Bong.

Once in the door, I forgot about vegetables and immediately went for the noodles section of the menu. I quickly discovered the “Country Style” Pad Thai, and all memories of other Thai noodles faded away. The slippery noodles balance the sweet, salty, sour and spicy. They are not dry, but a little saucy. The heat pleasantly builds as you work your way through the plate. Peanuts do not dominate the way so many American versions can. And as someone who does not like nuts (though I manage through most Pad Thais), this is an added bonus. The piece de resistance is the 5-spice tofu used in place of regular tofu. Little bits wiggle through the noodles, adding a depth of sweetness and warmth that make this dish irresistible. Just the right touch of bean sprouts adds texture and brightness. If it were possible to improve, I would use more scallions.

And while you’re there, be sure to try the Brown Sugar Roast Duck and, of course, the Pok Bong (when it’s in season).

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