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Asian Foods Inc Grocery Store Hot Bar in Wheaton


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Asian Foods Inc

2301 University Ave

Wheaton

301-933-6071

We went to pick up some perscriptions at the CVS in Wheaton and it turned into a 2 hour ordeal. At one point, we decided to go tolunch. Its Saturday so Max's is closed, there was a line at Full Key and I have had Pho two days in a row. So I decided to try the steam table Thai in the Asian Foods Inc store in the same shopping center, not wanting to go across the street to Nava Thai which can be a little slow. So Kay & I went in and tried to order. The ordering process was pointing and shaking our heads no until we had two plates:

Kay had a pork and cabbage curry along with larb on a huge mound of rice. I picked out sour cabbage & spareribs, prik khing with crispy pork and country curry on a similar mountain of rice. The cost: $6.95 and 7.95 respectively. The tastes: very clean, fresh, well made, very earthy & "peasant" and blindlingly hot. The country Curry is HOTTER than the folating market soup at Nava Thai, even if you order it Thai hot and add chilis to it. Trust me. It is simply the hotest thing I have ever eaten! Bamboo shoots, ginger, galagna, bits of chicken and meat, fierce hot red chilies that were too hot for me to eat more than half. I mean I was sweating up a storm. The larb was chock full of liver, tripe, hand chopped meat, other stuff one might not really want to know the origin of. Again, earthy, funky, robust flavors if a touch dry. The cabbage dishes both had sour cabbage although the sour cabbage one was more sour than the other. Both had some unidentifiable bits of meat and some simmered pork. But neither one duplicated the flavors of the other, both were distinct. I wouldn't order both on the same plate but Kay and I split each. The Prik Khing was again full of the nasty red chilies and really good, even if the crispy pork (belly) was just sorta crispy.

This was seriously good food and very cheap. Lunch for 2,with a couple of incredibly rich Thai iced coffees was under $20 with tip and we left stuffed. Was it as good as any Thai I have ever had? In a way, yes. The best tripe I have ever had in my life was off a tripe cart in Florence. No atmosphere, no subtlety, no sophistication, no service, no plates etc. That's what this was like. Now I think we got there pretty soon after they set the case (around noon) and I cannot vouch for the quality of the food after it sits. But dang it was good! And the one woman who spoke a little english was trying so hard to make sure we liked it. We provided a days worth of laughs tot he three of them as we ate and sweated our way through the food. Next time, Idon't think we will order all hot dishes either. And I now know what Thai hot really is!

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I've eaten here twice in the last few weeks and liked both my meals, although one was better than the other.

The first time I went I got Pad Thai from the steam trays behind the counter, the second I had it made for me and it was better the first time. The first plate had a surprisingly spicy kick that was more complex than I was expecting, the second time it was simply ordinary. The pork dish my brother ordered from the main menu was disappointingly simple too.

The thing that really knocked my socks off about the first meal were these little rice noodle balls that were next to the counter. The wrapper was slightly sweet, which played off the heat from the chilies and pork stuffing in a really nice way. They really just blew me away.

I have no idea how this rates compared to the other Wheaton Thai places, but I was surprised at how good my first meal was. As Dean notes it is really cheap too.

The market looks great too, hopefully I will be able to say more about it sooner rather than later.

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