Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gadarene

Sabydee, Lao Specials (and Incidental Thai) in the Former Zabver Space in Mt. Pleasant

Recommended Posts

Shades of Bangkok Golden and Baan Thai, this place is a neighborhood gem and deserves more attention.  It's run by a Lao family -- I believe that the food is cooked by the aunt and uncle of the super-nice woman who's usually at the front counter -- and when it opened a few months ago, it served predominantly Thai food with only a small section of the menu devoted to Lao dishes.  They didn't expect there to be much demand for Lao food, and apparently for a while before they opened they were considering not having it on the menu at all.  A funny thing happened, though: people kept ordering from the Lao side of the menu (the woman at the counter always sounds so SURPRISED about that).  So they adjusted accordingly, and now they have an extensive selection of Lao specials (and some additional, interesting Thai specials) that don't appear on their takeout menu; you can only see them on a posterboard outside the restaurant (see attached photo, which doesn't quite cover all of their offerings) or in a separate specials menu in the restaurant itself that you have to ask to see, somewhat reminiscent of Bourbon's old, copper expanded whiskey list.

And the food is really cool; there have been far more hits than misses in what we've tried.  In particular, the Laab Xiin made with minced beef parts, including various offal, is spicy and funky and delicious, and the Khao Piak Sen is just insanely good; it's a flavorful chicken soup made with both rice noodles and chewy tapioca noodles, unlike anything I've had in this area, and if it was tasty and comforting on a 75 degree day, I can only imagine how good it would be when it's cold outside.  I wish I were eating some now.  We also had a Lao version of pad thai that I forget the name of -- ah! the Kuoa Mii Lao at the bottom right of the specials menu, it had strips of egg across the top -- as well as the honey pig dish, and both were really enjoyable.

Anyway, go here, try some of their Lao specials, and (hopefully) enjoy.  Like Adam Express and Zabver before them, they do a lot of takeout business, but they also have four or five small tables in the space, and eating there is perfectly viable.  (They actually recommend not taking the Khao Piak Sen to go, since it's best when the noodles are freshly cooked.)  I'm about to leave the country for a little while for a grad program, and I don't want them to suffer for business while I'm gone.  Make it so they're still there when I get back! 

IMG_20170912_190703.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2017 at 2:39 PM, sandynva said:

does anyone know if they will do vegetarian versions of things? the menu looks delicious. 

I'm fairly sure they'll be accommodating and flexible in that regard, at least where feasible.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2017 at 2:39 PM, sandynva said:

does anyone know if they will do vegetarian versions of things? the menu looks delicious. 

The answer is Yes, they will make vegetarian versions. Thanks to this thread, yesterday, I found this small hole in the wall and had a very delicious lunch of a new type of dish that I'd never tried before. It is a tiny place on the strip in Mt. Pleasant and you would likely miss it if you weren't looking for it. It is really small inside but bright and clean with 4-5 small tables crammed in around a large register counter. I had what the counter-lady described as one of their most popular Lao dishes on the actual menu (vs. the more extensive posterboard mentioned above) - Nam Kao/Khao - which is a traditional Lao dish of crispy coconut rice salad with herbs, peanuts, eggs and typically pork but they readily substituted crispy cubes of tofu. They serve it with a few lettuce leaves to make a lettuce wrap which was how it tasted best to me. I wish I had a few more leaves though as I used them up and still had half a plate of food (portion is ample but not huge - good value ). The crispy rice was new to me. I looked online and apparently, you mix rice with herbs, eggs, and seasoning then form a big ball which is fried.  Then the ball is broken into chunks and the rest of the ingredients are added and mixed together. You end up with these nice bits of crispy rice mixed with chunks of seemingly normal steamed rice that was in the center of the ball. I'd recommend checking it out. They also do a good deal of delivery business but the lady mentioned that business is slow during weekdays - so that may be a good time to order. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2017 at 2:48 PM, Marty L. said:

It's a passable neighborhood place, but doesn't hold a candle (esp. on the Nam Khao) to Thip Khao, just a few blocks away.

Try the Khao Piak Sen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[I'll delete this question because it's embarrassing that I don't know the answer already: Someone please tell me if the cuisine is "Lao," "Laotian," or "doesn't matter."

Thanks! R]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

[I'll delete this question because it's embarrassing that I don't know the answer already: Someone please tell me if the cuisine is "Lao," "Laotian," or "doesn't matter."

Thanks! R]

The restaurant called themselves Lao. Not sure if that is technically correct.

[Thanks, Keith - I think that's the preferred term. I have a tendency to conflate it with "Martian" because I'm so used to that word - maybe Laotian refers to the people.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was really excited when i heard about this place. I ordered carryout from there recently. They are very pleasant and the food was packaged beautifully. They are very accomodating and will try to make any dish vegetarian, even dishes that weren't on the menu (tofu laab). and they are cheaper than thip khao. my order of kaprow tofu was good.but, and i almost didn't post this because they were so nice and i want them to succeed, the naem khao and kaophoon were definitely not as good as the same dishes at thip khao. I really appreciate them trying with the tofu laab, and maybe this is what i deserved for going off menu, but it just didn't taste like much, we ended up pouring the leftover kaprow sauce on it. maybe with this place the meat makes a big difference, but what i had was tasty, but one-note, and not as complex as what i was hoping for. I do wish them well though, and am happy there's more Lao food in the city. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Across the three takeout meals I've had from Sabydee I've found a lot of dishes to be hit or miss.  Some are really good, though.  Probably my favorite so far has been a crispy pork belly dish served with some sort of bitter greens or bok-choy like vegetable.  Can't remember what it was called but the contrast of crispy, sweet pork and the bitter vegetables was great.  I have no idea if this is traditional Lao in any way (and can't recall seeing anything similar at Thip Khao) but regardless, tasty, tasty dish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...