Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer
Since Chicagoland has already had half a foot of snow and more than a couple bone-chillingly cold days, it’s clear that winter is here to stay. To get through the next five or so months of constant cold, you need a variety of strategies: vitamin D supplements (gummies only), an endless supply of hand warmers, holiday scented candles from Target and Siam Splendour’s spicy pad thai.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures lower, it’s important to have regular doses of comforting, indulgent meals — Siam Splendour at 1125 Emerson St. provides just that. The Thai restaurant is inconspicuous, tucked in a strip mall on the corner of Emerson Street and Ridge Avenue right by a dog wash, chiropractor and a Pizza Hut.
The interior of Siam Splendour is perfectly ordinary, decorated simply and often devoid of a crowd. But you’re not here to sit and eat a meal — you’re here to pick up takeout and devour your noodles in the warm safety of your own home, preferably while watching TV under a mountain of blankets. Alternatively, take advantage of the fact that Siam Splendour delivers and avoid leaving home altogether.
I suggest ordering the pad thai, stir fried with whatever level of spice you can handle (mild, medium or hot). Mild is good and has no trace of spiciness, but if you’re looking to really warm up, go with medium or hot. Sometimes I find myself needing to take breaks between bites of the hot noodles — but they are also extremely flavorful. As an added bonus, the spicy pad thai will clear up that stuffy nose you’ve been suffering with since the temperature first dipped below freezing.
You can find pad thai on almost any pan-Asian menu in Evanston, but Siam Splendour’s version is hands down the best in the area, especially because the addition of spice is not typical of the dish. The combination of hurts-so-good spiciness with the perfect amount of refreshing bean sprouts and crunchy peanuts is made even better by the fact that the sizable noodle dish comes in at under $10. If I’m really indulging, I’ll also order Siam Splendour’s Thai iced tea, perfectly creamy and sweet, to supplement my meal and offset the spice.
If pad thai isn’t your thing, the restaurant has a long menu of soups, Thai curries, rice and noodle dishes and much more. The Kuay Tiew Kee Mao (also known as drunken noodles) are very good and provide a similar spicy kick to the pad thai.
So whenever winter gets too overwhelming and you just can’t make another frozen Trader Joe’s meal, order spicy pad thai from Siam Splendour, steal your roommate’s Disney+ password and try not to look at the ice and snow out the window. You might as well just save the restaurant’s number in your phone now — trust me.
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