My tastes when it come to Thai food are fairly tame and I’m not ashamed to say it. I love pad thai. There are a few other dishes that I sometimes like to order at Thai restaurants, but nothing beats a really good plate of soft, eggy, peanut-dusted noodles. S & I Thai is regarded by many as some of the best, if not the best, Thai food in Boston. Diners flock there for authentic and more exotic Thai dishes, particularly very spicy ones. S & I is also known for having excellent pad thai. It had been a while since I was really impressed with a dish of pad thai, so I eagerly headed there to check it out.
Dave’s beverage of choice at Thai restaurants is a Thai iced tea. They tend to be at least $3 or $3.50 at most places. This one was $1.75 and it was huge. It usually arrives at your table already blended to a bright orange color, as seen below. This one was left unblended, which made for a beautiful presentation. It also allowed you to see the ratio of half-and-half to tea. Which as you can see, is quite high. And you could taste it. This was by far the richest Thai iced tea I’d ever had, almost like melted ice cream. I would highly recommend it, but for the sake of your arteries, split it with someone if you can.
With all of the rave reviews I read, I had to order the vegetable pad thai. It completely lived up to the hype. It was delightful. This is a rather vague descriptor, but the first thing that came to mind when I tasted it was that it was incredibly flavorful and very well-balanced. There was a lot of egg as well as crushed peanut, something I love in pad thai and that helped add to the flavor and richness. The noodles were nicely chewy and dotted with plenty of crisp vegetables and bean sprouts. The sauce had a good balance of sour and salty (though a slice of lime to squeeze on top would have been lovely), and there was the perfect amount so that the noodles were nicely slippery but not soggy. I think I can confidently say that this is indeed the best pad thai I’ve had in Boston.
Dave started with beef satay (not pictured), which came with four skewers of moderately spicy beef with satay sauce and sweet chili sauce. He was less thrilled with the pad si ew. One thing I noticed immediately was the high ratio of beef and broccoli to noodles. It’s usually primarily noodles with a sprinkling of meat and vegetables. This aspect of the dish was fine. What disappointed him was the lack of the signature brown sauce. It didn’t need to be swimming in a pool of sauce, but it definitely could have used more. With so little sauce, Dave lamented that the dish tasted primarily of beef, instead of that distinct pad si ew flavor.
I was thrilled to find that the pad thai was as good as everyone said it was and I will gladly return for it. Two final things to note about S & I: first, the restaurant is quite literally a whole in the wall, with only four tables. Second, the prices are insanely low. I already mentioned that the iced tea was $1.75. My pad thai was $6.95 at dinnertime and the other dishes were not much more. It’s hard to beat the best pad thai in the city for under seven dollars.
S & I Thai
168 Brighton Ave