Despite passing by Chelsea Thai on my walk home every day for almost four years, I’ve never been compelled to stop for takeout; Buon Italia’s glass case of glistening pasta and bruschetta is just too distracting. But tonight, I was handed the opportunity to break my habit when my yoga buddy Emily suggested we eat there before parting ways. Thai isn’t exactly the type of food I crave after sweating out my angst and toxins in a therapeutic yoga session, but I’m trying to live on the edge a little more in 2013. So, I said boldly, “sure, why not.” Walking on the wild side if I say so myself!
Chelsea Thai sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the many modern and pristine little shops in the immediate vicinity. The steel walls covered in menu-photos are the only “decor” that add color to the place, and the minimal Thai products for sale sit lonely on an industrial shelf smack dab in the dining area. Fortunately, there are a few tables just outside the door in the Chelsea Market passage-way that are tolerable as dining tables for a quick meal on the run.
The place was closing up shop around 9pm as we were walking in, but we made it just in time to place an order for their hot chicken soup with rice noodles. A little disclaimer here, I’m on a semi-cleanse for the next few weeks, so had I been eating normally, I would have had Pad Thai or one of the other gloriously pictured noodle dishes on their menu. I know they are good because even free-food endowed Googlers order the stuff during lunch breaks. Still, Thai soup is admittedly much more entertaining than regular chicken soup because of the interesting sweet and sour flavors that pervade every molecule of broth. This soup was no different. I ordered it with extra vegetables and chicken, and it was unveiled as a bounty of “innards” (as my friend’s boyfriend likes to call it) in a delicious sea of earthy, lightweight but rich-in-flavor soup. A touch of sriracha brightened the flavors enough that I actually felt like I was indulging in something non-cleanse friendly (which truthfully and ironically is the goal when you’re trying to survive on a cleanse).
So my rotation of Buon Italia, Lobster Place or Hale & Hearty as dinner takeout must now make room for the occasional Chelsea Thai treat. While I wouldn’t think twice about eating inside the shop for a “feel-good” meal out, my soup has me convinced that I should permanently consider it as a dinner option on my nightly walks home.