When I heard that there was a Thai restaurant in Pittsburgh with a penchant for puns – I will admit that I was interested to visit. Still hesitant, I noticed this restaurant was called Thai Me Up and their catch phrase was ‘Bound to Like It’. I was intrigued once I saw pictures of their food… Thai Me Up had my attention.
So the question was not if – but what – puns would I create to theme this week’s review? I thought about how I contracted Thaiburculosis – in that egg salad in Sub-Saharan Africa. Or maybe how I gave a club (sandwich) to Thaigur Woods at the US Open in Oakmont. How simple would it have been to describe my ordeal walking past the Thairanasaurus near the cafeteria at the Carnegie Museum? Maybe I could have suggested that too much ice water was served on the Thaitanic? Should I refer to a Thaifoon, Thaiway to the Danger Zone, or a Thai-arama? No, no – It just wasn’t right for me to try to force any of those Thai puns into this review. Could I do it? Could I be the culinary critic who could do the impossible – forgoing every pun about Thai cuisine?
I was forewarned about the small dining space at Thai Me Up, so as while not surprised about the few tables – I really thought the mismatching chairs, ambience, and décor made the dining area feel larger. It was very crowded and fast paced for a Thursday, and I was a frayed that I was in over my head. I spied the menu and remarked that there were a lot of dishes to try and the price was more affordable than most on Carson Street.
So the appetizer for this week were the Summer Rolls – clear rice wrappers that included mint, shredded lettuce, imitation crab meat, and vermicelli. I will say that the ingredients in these Summer Rolls were knot very spectacular; I found them to be bland and the ingredients uninspired. However to my surprise, the accompanying peanut dipping sauce – an interesting take on a usually pedestrian dip – was thick yet not watery, and spicy enough to make you think about reaching for your water glass. Where the cool summer rolls lacked Steel City strength or glamour, the dipping sauce hit a cord with me; like trying to picture Lady Gaga high fiving James Harrison while demolishing Three Rivers Stadium. What should that mean to you? I have no idea.
Don’t let me string you along here – the lemongrass soup was wonderful. Arriving with a heaping pile of fresh mushrooms atop lemongrass and spiced broth, it is now one of my all time favorites. For an authentically Thai soup, the crisp vegetables of their galangal soup sported a motherload of crisp vegetables mixed into a sweet coconut milk base.
For main entrees, we chose the Pineapple Curry and the Spicy Basil Noodles. Here is the hitch – Thai Me Up did not disappoint on either dish. The spicy noodles sat wrapped in a basil sauce that included generous amounts of egg, napa and chicken (but with almost all entrees at Thai Me Up, one can also pick from tofu, beef or pork). The pineapple curry was delicious yet subtle.
Being not roped into anything, both dishes were healthy and plentiful. The dishes at Thai Me Up include enough food to satisfy your hunger and also enough to take home for tomorrow. An all around great experience, and an atmosphere unlike any other Thai establishment around, was it a wok to remember? Of course. But the best part of this review… I didn’t have to use one silly pun.
Where is Thai Me Up?
1925 East Carson St in Southside (map)
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
What are their hours?
Lunch: Mon – Sat from 11am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Mon – Sat from 4pm – 9:30pm
Closed on Sunday
What is the website?
We couldn’t find one. Not even a Facebook page.