Unique Thai Dishes at ATK

February 02 2015 - 9:00 AM

My (unofficial) New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to order new dishes at restaurants, with the hopes of enjoying a unique dish that I would have normally glanced over. The perfect opportunity presented itself when my friend and I made plans to go to Andy’s Thai Kitchen, a small (emphasis on the word small) Thai restaurant right off of the Wellington brown line in Lakeview. There were two things that were particularly appealing about this restaurant: my friends and coworkers all rave about it, and it’s right off the train, so I would not need to walk far in the freezing cold.

Andy’s Thai Kitchen was created by Andy Aroonrasameruang, who is the former chef at Tac Quick, a Thai restaurant in Buena Park. I had gotten takeout from Tac Quick before and it was delicious, so I assumed that ATK would be no exception.

photo 2The restaurant has almost 20 different appetizer options, but we ultimately decided on the Sunshine Beef, or Thai-style beef jerky. It was listed as one of the top customer picks, alongside the Kai Tod (deep fried marinated half-chicken with Thai spicy sauce), pork neck (Grilled marinated pork neck with spicy lime sauce), and grilled squid (char-broiled marinated squid with spicy chili garlic).

The Sunshine Beef had a great flavor to it. It was surprisingly sweet – we were expecting it to be on the spicier side, but were pleasantly surprised with the sweetness. I never like appetizers that fill me up before I even get my entree, so the Sunshine Beef was a fantastic option. And, going back to my New Year’s Resolution, it was something I would not normally try. For the traditionalists, ATK offers classic Thai appetizers such as egg rolls, spring rolls, crab rangoon, and steamed dumplings.

When I eat or order takeout from a Thai restaurant, I order something like Pad See Ew (rice noodle with broccoli, egg, and sweet soy sauce) or the classic Pad Thai (rice noodle with bean sprout, egg, chive, and crushed peanut). They are both standard dishes that are usually guaranteed to taste good. At ATK, though, I ordered the Boat Noodle dish. It consisted of beef brisket, pork skins, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts and thin rice noodle spicy/sweet soup.

 It was, hands down, the perfect meal for a cold night. The soup broth itself had a very deep and rich beef flavor, and the beef brisket was perfectly cooked and plentiful. The pork skins were fine, but the brisket was the real star of this show. I should warn you that this dish is messy (read: not a good first date meal), but I really enjoyed it. It was filling but not too heavy – the best combination.

My friend ordered the – wait for it – Pad Thai. She said that it was some of the best she has had in Chicago, so I eagerly sampled a bit. My opinion, though? It was just Pad Thai. There was not anything special about it, but it was good.

Other popular options at ATK include the Kao Soy (Thai curry with egg noodle, chicken, onion, sour mustard, peanuts, and lime). garlic pork ribs (ribs, garlic, and pepper served with Sriracha sauce), and the duck curry (duck, pineapple, grape, tomato, and basil).

I would recommend ATK if you are looking for classic Thai dishes with unique and flavorful twists. The restaurant is cash only, so be sure to bring some with you. Our dinner for two (one appetizer, two entrees) was about $25, and they have a great weekday lunch deal: one appetizer and one entree for $7.50. Not to mention it’s BYOB. I do not think this is the best place for groups, but it is a great atmosphere for two to three people. If you go, I encourage you to try a dish that you would not normally order. Everything at Andy’s is full of delicious flavors and freshly made.

Andy’s Thai Kitchen
946 W. Wellington Ave
Chicago, IL 60657