Thai food! Let's just say that in the past week, I have spent $32 dollars on Thai food, alone. That is alot for me in eating out, and I have been to two different places. I'm not sure if its the spicy complex flavors that draw me to it or what, but I think that I have to do something about it quick! My wallet and stomach may not be able to last too much longer.
There are a couple of places in the Pittsburgh area that I favor: Green Mango, Papaya Asian Cuisine, Thai Suan Thip. I have tried other places and they were...they were...well, let me just get it out there. Thai food, to me, tastes nothing like Chinese food. The Americanized way of cooking it, just doesn't appeal to me. I want bold, unusual flavors, and most of the places that I have been to hit that right on the nose. But there are some exceptions-Thai Foon in Robinson. Ugh! The two times that I have been there have been less than desirable. The food lacked flavor...of any kind. I had the Basil Chicken, bland and bland. Then I had the Pad Thai, gummy and tasteless. It just wasn't a good experience.
If you have never tried Thai food, I highly recommend it. I will admit that its an acquired taste and it may take some trials and errors to find out what you really like and can tolerate. Please bear in mind that its SPICY! But every place that I have been to, with the exception of Thai Foon, you can customize your heat level. Every dish comes with your choice of protein, tofu for the vegetarians. From what I have read alot of the sauces contain fish derived products, so if you are a vegan you may want to ask for a list of ingredients. Go ahead and get to googling! See what Thai place you can find!
My suggestion for a first timer: Basil Chicken or Pad Thai.