Monday, July 25, 2011

Mango-ing Green

Oh, hello Regent Square.  It was such a pleasure to meet you on Friday! 

Yes, that's right.  I just had my first dinner in Regent Square since moving to Pittsburgh more than eight years ago.  Judge me all you want.  I'm right there beside you.

(And I call myself a food blogger....)

Well, Pittsburgh...I am proud to say that I have finally expanded my culinary circumference while ALSO eating a dish I have never eaten before!

PID, a few familiar FORTs and I ventured to the area on a Friday evening in hopes of heading to check out the relatively new Alma for dinner. A risk and a failure.  Alma does not take reservations for parties under eight and a two hour wait greeted us in the unbearable moist heat of the evening. While we were slightly bummed to miss out on what we were all so excited to experience, we were far from discouraged. (Alma, we'll be back to check you out shortly...) We walked a few blocks down South Braddock Ave. (Note: don't walk this. Just don't do it. It's too darn far and it was too darn hot.) and tried our luck at a few more (also relatively new) places to no avail. Until a neon noodle beckoned to us.

The Green Mango is a hole in the wall amongst golden palaces.  With restaurants quickly becoming the talk of the town popping up left and right, it blends in to it's brick facade save the glowing bowl of steamy Pad Thai in it's window.  It was the only place that could seat all six of us immediately, so we jumped on the offer.  Admittedly, I originally didn't approve.  Though I've yet to meet a food I dislike, I've never found myself particularly fond of Thai cuisine. Until now.

Amongst us, we ordered three appetizers of beef rolls, spring rolls and Somosa for the table

Spring Rolls with homemade duck sauce

Samosa: Lightly fried pastry stuffed with potatoes, onions, tofu and Thai spices

and  two "Drunken Noodles," a classic Pad Thai, Spicy Green Curry, Sukiyaki Soup and Spicy Pineapple Curry with beef for our entrees.

Classic Pad Thai

One of the Drunken Noodle dinners (with shrimp)

Spicy Green Curry (with beef)

Sukiyaki Soup

Spicy Pineapple Curry (with beef)
I went in with one opinion of Thai food and one alone....and that opinion culminates on a porcelain throne later the evening.  But tonight I experienced Thai done right. Sure, there were a few watery eyes and cleared nasal passages - but that's just the nature of the beast.  Each and every one of us couldn't wait to tell the other how they chose the best item on the menu.  I will say, that although I entered the skeptic, I walked out standing behind my Sukiyaki Soup as the best of the evening. It's not often I think of soup as a meal, but it certainly was. With all of the glass noodles, perfectly translucent, mixing with the crunch of the green onion and the taste of the chicken and shrimp, I could barely even finish it all. Not to mention the mirin and soy flavors accumulated by the tofu, I didn't want to leave a single bite behind. My first attempt at Sukiyaki was a success!

Restaurant Info:

The Green Mango
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days/week
Regent Square
1109 S. Braddock Avenue
Regent Square, PA 15218
Tel. 412-244-3310
Penn Center East
3462 Wm. Penn Hwy
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Tel. 412-824-9500
The Waterfront Mall
142 West Bridge Street
Homestead, PA 15207
Tel. 412-476-9100
Reservations: We walked right in on a Friday night when everything else had a line out the door. But maybe give a call ahead just to make sure.
Price: $$

Cliffs Notes/Overall Opinion
After being granted a small taste of everyone's dish, I knew that my an-Thai shell had been cracked. For only $9.50 (well, plus about $1 worth of Spring rolls that I snuck) I had a wild-with-flavor dinner with my wild-with-flavor friends. And the kicker?  Because The Green Mango is BYOB, not one of us spent over $20 on ourselves for the entire, delicious dinner out.  WINNING.

Here's our lesson(s) of the day: Don't automatically walk on by a "hole in the wall" on a mission to eat at the neighborhood's newest and most exciting hot spot.  AND don't disregard cuisines altogether just because you once had a mediocre experience. You never know what you might find!

The Green Mango on Urbanspoon

The Green Mango  Restaurant Reviews

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