For some people the dentist means an afternoon of sterile coats, bad news and an discussion about flossing. For me, a trip to the dentist is a destination with happiness. My dentist, you see, is located in the center of one of my foodie-heavens: Coolidge Corner in Brookline. There, within a 10 minute drive you can easily find Latino treats in Jamaica Plain, Israeli salads at the Butcherie, Super 88's frozen food and produce galore, Fugyaku's pricey but delicious sushi, Niko's unbelievable vegetarian mousakka, Pho Lemongrass' decent Vietnamese and not one, but two of our favorite Thai joints: Dok Boa and Rod Dee. Dok Boa is more of a sit down restaurant, while Rod Dee can pass for a store-front eatery. It has exactly 6 tables, you bus your own trays and while child-friendly (there is often a cute child sitting at a table), there is no room for an antsy toddler. We have often done take out, though I also enjoy sitting there for lunch. And it can always be counted on for an inexpensive, delicious meal.
Rod Dee has so many things that make it special: unlimited cups of sweet-fragrant Thai tea, unique desserts to go (Taro sweets, roti pancakes with shredded wheat), pictures of their dishes on the wall so you can literally point at a tempting dish and an open kitchen to watch the dishes being prepared. But it also has dishes that go far beyond the suburban standards of Pad Thai, spring rolls and chicken satay.
My current favorite is just fantastic: number N9, Pad Kee Mao. It is truly spicy (eye watering, mouth burning spicy), but also flavorful. The brown sauce coats thick rice noodles, but is never greasy. The Thai basil makes the dish taste fresh, while the vegetables (a generous combination of Chinese broccoli, string beans, carrots and tomato) are always crisp.
I don't claim to be an expert on all their dishes. But I can tell you that everything I have tried is fantastic. I can also guarantee that I could happily return (if they were just a bit closer), to try different dishes each time. Lastly, hope that they have the sticky rice with mango. Coconut cream is warmed and poured over it so the dish is simultaneously nutty, juicy and sweet. My final wish: that "delivery" meant 20 minutes West.
**Both photographs are from Rod Dee's website. Check it out for locations, menus and more photos: http://www.roddeethai.com/