a bare bones approach to a city dining guide

pointers
1 | navigate below by cuisine, location, establishment type, or price range.
2 | get out there and enjoy.

etcetera
these are raw notes. the 'notables' are what I likely order each time I go to the posted establishment. if there is a website, I link to it for more information [and for your convenience].

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7.12.2010

café de moore

Brand spanking new to the CM food scene is the quaint Café de Moore. Al fresco on Prapokklao Rd, soi 4, look for a juice stand called Drink More which sits at the entrance.
Everything can be made vegetarian friendly, and the menu boasts healthy Thai fusion. Selections are evolving and may vary depending on fresh ingredients the owner/chef picks up that day. She speaks excellent English [as a Payap International College grad - represent!] and will make recommendations if you can't decide. At the moment it's a small enterprise, but as her menu evolves, and thanks to her personal ambition and innovation in the kitchen, there is potential for this place to truly blossom. So go, support! And tell your friends too. Maybe I'll see you there.

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Notables | green curry with dragonfruit [add tofu for a protein kick]. chef special sandwich [the bread has been french toasted!].

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Prapokklao Rd. Soi 4 [close to Chiang Mai Gate], next to Siam Commercial Bank
tel. 089-433-7688
Mon-Sun 7:30am - 8:00pm

6.22.2010

salad concept

There are often times in CM life when one feels practically saturated by endless options of things ผัด [phad aka 'fried']. Khao phad. Phad kee mao. Phad pak ruam. Phad. Phad. Phad. While delicious, the greasiness can leave you feeling...well, downright greasy - both inside and out.
During these times, eating a fresh vegetable or two could feel like an herbal spa treatment for the corpus.
Thus, the CM gods bestowed upon us The Salad Concept. Blessed be our oil-logged arteries! Bright and bustling on the corner of Niman, soi 13, you can choose from the menu or construct your own salad by adding seeds, beans, vegetables, meat, and/or cheese, plus a homemade dressing of your choice. Don't worry folks, the usual gunky, tasteless, cream dressing [you know what I'm talking about] is not on the menu here. Instead, options like Japanese soy sauce, tamarind sesame, carrot, pumpkin, Thai mint, or tofu are on offer.
The service is quick and as dynamic as the crowd it attracts; uniformed students, bespectacled elderly, trendy Niman-ites, Thai and non-Thai scenesters, and grungy backpackers all chomp on the green stuff and love it. Above all else, free wifi. So, go. Now!

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Notables | organic tofu salad. salmon whole wheat pasta salad. anti-cancer drink [must try it at least once!].

Sweet treats | carrot cake. cranberry square [very yum].

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Nimanhaemin Rd. Soi 13
hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm
tel. 053-894-455

sumo sushi

I love this place.
Presentation is everything. And the rolling 'artist' at Sumo Sushi knows how to work it. Think trendy Japanese fusion restaurants in the west. You know the ones: where a few orders of the jade dragon, spider, godzilla - or some other roll named after a vaguely exotic and dangerous sounding species - can set you back an easy $40-50 USD per person. At Sumo Sushi you get the same quality - if not better - for a fraction of that price.
Yet another cool spot in Nimanhaemin, everything I've tried here is deelish. No air-con, but your tastebuds will be so happy it won't really matter.

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notables | jade dragon roll. rainbow roll. 911 roll. mango roll. seared salmon. ahhh, basically everything!
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Nimanhaemin Rd. Soi 11
tel. 053.894.920

...and we're back

Hello CMers -
I was on an extended hiatus due to a broken camera [I will never buy a touch-screen camera again. With my butter fingers and tendency to drop electronics, the ol' Sony became touch-less]. But good news: I am now equipped with a new kickass Canon S90. So it's back to the streets of hedonism and revival of the CM epicurean! Stay tuned...

6.21.2009

el diablo

The very fact that El Diablo provides free, fresh tortilla chips & salsa is excuse enough to check out this joint. ED is located next to Mike's Burger [on the east side of the moat] and is a welcome addition to the Chiang Mai tex-mex scene.
The salsa is a little too ketchupy, but the guacamole has much improved since this was first posted. The burritos are tasty and HUGE. They certainly stuff them to the max. The quesadillas are also quite hefty. All items, in my opinion, are definitely share-worthy, which makes this place a decent deal for the wallet. And their homemade tortilla chips in a bottomless basket? Ah, so worth the visit. A friend also told me you can buy a bag of the chips at 50 baht for homemade nacho creations. At that price, I'll take 2 bags.

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notables | nachos supreme with chorizo. pork and green chili burrito.

6.20.2009

ridgley's

* Sad to say, during my cyber absence, Ridgley's has since closed down with no word on reopening. But that baked spinach cheese dip will forever live on in the memory of my palate. This post remains in honour of you! *

Since I started living abroad [about five years ago], I've had a number of cravings for a rich, creamy, cheesy spinach [or spinach and artichoke] dip. Served in a pumpernickel bread bowl or with with warm, toasted pita and tortilla chips...talk about comfort food. But, living in Asia, this appetizer simply doesn't exist among a plethora of noodle and rice dishes.
Now, at Ridgley's, I've discovered a fantastic spinach cheese dip not too far from where I work. Yes! Cravings: satisfied. The dip even converted a meat- loving, British colleague with an aversion to anything "vegetable" [especially "green vegetable" - the horror]. It's that gooood.
The menu is packed with hearty options [chili, ribs, burgers], so check it out the next time you're hit with a mean craving for western dining fare. Another plus, the atmosphere is friendly and warm, and completely void of the kitschy wall signs or gimmicky chain trademarks ["you can throw peanut shells on the floor!" "You can draw on the chart paper/table mat with the greasy, blunt crayons on the table!"] of restaurant chains back home.
Ridgley's, welcome to the neighbourhood!

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notables | baked spinach cheese dip served with fresh diced tomatoes and warm flatbread. the pizzas: meat lovers, italian, sweet & spicy BBQ, or make your own [with alternative options of alfredo or bbq sauces]. the desserts [if you have room].

location | on the road to Doi Saket, drive past the outer ring road. There is a market on the left and just past it, turn left on the diagonal road. Pass a temple, some food stalls, a vegetarian food stall, and Ridgley's will be on your left [yes, these directions are serious].
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tel. 053.490.846

3.20.2009

paradornparp international house - payap university

True, the PIH dining hall is off the beaten track for most, if not all, backpacker folk and other locals not associated with Payap University. But that aside, for anyone in the neighbourhood, the made-to-order food is pretty good. The lunch hour is packed with PIH residents, Law students [on break from their building next door], short-term study abroad groups, visiting scholars, and other Payap staff and faculty who hop on trusty Sky Blue [the elongated golf cart that serves as a shuttle between PIH and the main campus] for a cheap and tasty meal.
PIH is located at the Mae Khao campus [behind Carrefour, off the superhighway]. Look for bilingual signs that direct you to the east campus. The dining hall is on the first floor to the right of the entrance, but you can purchase coupons from the friendly reception staff at the front desk.

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notable | my absolute favourite is the ข้าวผัดปลาเค็ม + ไข่ดาว [khao pad pla kem + kai dao], fried rice with salted fish topped with a fried egg. add fresh squeezed lime juice and a generous drizzle of fish sauce = yum.
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053 851 377 ext. 0

2.20.2009

ellie bum

Inside the moat, Ellie Bum is a great place for a rockin' latte and blueberry pancakes. Free wi-fi [always a plus these days] could entice you to hang through breakfast, lunch, the sweltering afternoon heat [or, as we're in rainy season, those 4pm-ish flash torrential downpours], and perhaps even stick around for a pre-dinner mojito. The owner speaks great English and is extremely personable. EB is also a guesthouse which includes breakfast for its patrons. Previous guests have described the hospitable owner and the experience as "just like family." Local expats, Bangkok vacationers, backpackers sporting 'Same Same but Different' t-shirts, and both local and international artsy types float in and out on the regular. Bring your laptop [or iPhone] and enjoy.
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notables | hot latte. blueberry pancakes. any of the sandwiches.
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114/3-4 Rachamanka Rd. | 085.018.7400