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Delivery and Carryout: Yes Thai - Ravenswood

By Erin in Food on Jan 26, 2005 1:28AM

Delivery and carryout is a tough, dare Chicagoist say it, art form.

If you take your dining seriously, you want go to the restaurant. It's difficult to get the full experience of a menu, of the restaurant itself, without presentation. An operation that offers delivery and carryout is taking a big risk when they offer the service, simply because a bad experience at a person's home is likely to signal that that person may never set foot inside your place.

And really, if you serve booze, you want their butts in your seats.

A successful delivery and carryout service not only sends good food out the door, but also in a timely fashion, food in tact, and at a good rate — though some of Chicagoist, we're not naming any names but her name begins with an *R*, have said that Chicago's delivery services are subpar to other urban locales. This may be true. And that's what we're trying to find out.

So keep in mind that our choices are based on not only personal experiences with the food, but also how good our experience has been with the delivery. With that in mind, Chicagoist welcomes and encourages with wide-open arms any suggestions and thoughts you may have on the matter; we just ask that you try and keep your suggestions relevant to the neighborhood in which each restaurant is being reviewed for posterity's sake.

With that, Chicagoist starts with Yes Thai, 5211 N. Damen, a Ravenswood Thai joint [Thanks, Slats] that wows us at every turn with their incredible delivery and carryout service.

2005_01_yesthai.JPGYes Thai occupies a seemingly small space on the corner of Damen and Foster. The dining area itself is small, which is why carryout and delivery is an excellent option. If you drive by on your way home from work and it's packed, which oftentimes is the case, you know you can give them a call and see your food in less than 30 minutes.

That's right. We said 30 minutes.

The food is strong, if you like your Thai more on the Americanized side, and Chicagoist argues that such a style, considering the location and all, isn't a bad move. Authentic ethnic cuisine is not for everyone; Thai is no exception. If your goal is a mainstream market, you keep your food simple.

Some exceptional dishes from Yes Thai are the most basic and common in Thai cuisine: Pad See Eiw, Spicy Basil chicken, Lard Nar, as well as the ol' Thai workhorse, the Pad Thai. Try the curry dishes, especially the Panang, and they carry some decent specials like the Chu Chee Shrimp, though Chicagoist has heard that the shrimp they order is a little on the shrimpy side. Yes Thai will customize your order as requested, though be specific and quick about it because Chicagoist thinks that in an effort to expedite the orders, they're a little hurried when you're placing your order.

Chicagoist has yet to place an order with Yes Thai and not find the food arrive to our door hot, fresh, and tasty, though there have been a few occassions when they've forgotten our rice. They lose some points for the occassional incomplete order, though unlike many places who offer you a credit on your next order, Yes Thai will get your remaining items to your door in minutes if you'd like. Really. You won't have opened your beer from the frig before they've returned to your door.

Take a pass on the desserts; Chicagoist has found them to be a little lackluster. The appetizers, however, especially the crab rangoon and the crispy tofu, are things of wonder.

The delivery charge is reasonable, quite comparative to other such charges at $2. This, however, isn't a huge deal when you consider that the average price for any entree is $6, and the portions allow a person to get at least two meals out of the deal.

Yes Thai, (773) 878-3487, is open from 11:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and on from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday's. To check out their menu online, visit