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Link to Pot Pan Thai Restaurant home

Thai Restaurant

1362 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60642

Open

Monday to Thursday
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
11 a.m to 11 p.m.
Sunday
Noon to 10 p.m.

Reservations, carryout and delivery

Phone
773-862-6990
Fax
773-862-6993

Side Orders

  • Steamed white rice
    — $2
  • Steamed brown rice
    — $2
    .50
  • Steamed thin rice noodles
    — $2
    .50
  • Steamed wide rice noodles
    — $2.50
  • Steamed egg noodles
    — $2.50
  • Peanut sauce
    — $1.50

Beverages

  • Hot jasmine tea
    — $1.50
  • Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite in cans
    — $1.25
  • Iced tea
    — $1.50
  • Thai iced tea
    — $2.50
  • Thai iced coffee
    — $2.50

Deserts

  • Thai custard
    — $2.50
  • Moji ice cream
    — $2
WBBM Newsradio 780

KAPLAN'S RATINGS
  • Ambiance and decor
    3.5/4
  • Service
    4/5
  • Food
    8.5/10
  • Value
    1/1

Radio review

Sherman Kaplan
WBBM Newsradio 780
North Shore Magazine

Finding a Thai storefront restaurant these days is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. You can hardly miss. Sometimes, you get really lucky with a find like Pot Pan.

There is not anything as you drive or walk by that makes the restaurant a visual standout, not much in the way of what realtors call curbside appeal. Inside the restaurant is highlighted by open space with handsome woodwork and copper ornamentation. There are two seating levels, one of them a raised platform toward the back, reserved for non-smokers.

Like so many small restaurants, no matter what the ethnic derivation, Pot Pan seems to be a family run operation. So there might be some children, perhaps the owners, playing in the back. And service might be a little distracted from time to time, but its part of the charm, to my way of thinking.

The food at Pot Pan is typical of many Thai restaurants. The spring rolls, wrapped in soft dough with fresh raw vegetables and bits of scrambled eggs are topped with a light plum sauce. The flavors are spring like. The egg rolls are more delicate than their Chinese cousins. Shrimp dumplings are excellent little bite-sized morsels, plump and juicy. Appropriate sauces are set out for each of these and other tidbits.

Whatever else you order, do not ignore soup. The tom yum with it’s lemon grass underpinnings is seasoned with lime juice and cilantro, with a nice spicy flavor. Tom kah is similar, though its coconut milk base is clearly evident, adding a tinge of tropical sweetening. Pot Pan’s wonton soup is lighter, more open in flavor and a bit more ephemeral then the Chinese version.

Main course choices include salad-sized entrees such as nam sod which brings chunks of steamed chicken white meat together with hot dried pepper flakes, lime juice, fresh grated ginger and other tastes on a bed of romaine lettuce. More substantial selections include delicious garlic chicken or shrimp with a complexity of tastes in addition to the evident garlic seasoning. Spicy grilled eggplant can be in a vegetarian version with or without tofu, or in the standard edition with chicken or shrimp. Basil and sweet peppers combined with more fiery peppers add to the complexities.

I have not forgotten the pad Thai, the favorite of most diners. The Pot Pan version is quite good, if a bit gummy and a little sweet. The fairly extensive menu lists other noodle entrees, as well as those without meats, and a trio of curries. You won’t spend more than $10 a person, unless you really want to gild the Thai lily.

MENU — appetizers || soups || salads || fried rice || noodles || éntrees

potpanthai.com updated 5/22/08