Old Town’s Mai Thai Will Leave You Hungry for More

Mai Thai restaurant

Here be dragons: An imposing dragon ornament surveys the dining room at Mai Thai. (Geoff Livingston via FLickr)

Boom. Not Bang or Bomb, or even Bop, but Boom was her name, our waitress at Mai Thai, a stylized double-decker restaurant in the heart of Alexandria’s Old Town.

We went on a Tuesday night, and while it wasn’t packed to the gills, it still had enough people to ensure the young girl keeps going – the restaurant that is, not Boom, or yeah, her too, who was as cute, nice and reserved as you’d expect a Thai girl named Boom to be (the only way that sophist sentence makes any sense is if Boom means something opposite in Thailand. In fact, after some cursory research, I don’t know what the singular “boom” means over there. Now “boom boom,” on the other hand … Whatever … the sentence did have some sort of je ne sais quoi, before I totally ruined it by my stupid explanation).

Of course, Boom isn’t her real name she explained, and if you’re familiar with some of the more elaborate Thai names – you’d probably call yourself Boom, too.

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But what of the food? (Normally, I’d link to the menu here, but the Old Town location has one of those old sites where the address is the same on every page. According to said site, the company owns five area Thai restaurants; two of them have more modern websites, but they won’t win any Webbys, either.)

Mai Thai
6 King St., Alexandria, Va., 22314

I had pa ram long song, and it was quite good, along with a Chang beer, which I thought would be Chinese, but turned out to be Thai. (Asian beer aficionados will recognize it as the beer with the two distinctive elephants on the bottle.)

Though it goes by different name variations, pa ram long song is meat (this time chicken) lightly-sautéed with curry over white rice, spinach, and covered in peanut sauce. But this song carried its own caveat: As good as it was, and it was, there wasn’t nearly enough for an awful hog like me.

Of course, the Thai nickname for pig is “moo,” which brings us back to Boom, who, when I said I was still hungry, answered that yes, they did have spring rolls, and yes, I did order them … and yes, they were good too, and yes, I was still hungry, which says more about me than the food, Boom, moo or even Paul, the friend I was with. I can’t remember what he had, but it was about twice as much as me, and he’s not a moo at all, much more of a Boom if truth be told.

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Well, not really. Sorry Paul, you’re not pretty with a bemused smile and long black hair. But while fairly quiet, Paul can have me rolling on my boom with some of his impressions of people we know. And that’s worth more than the best moo I could ever get my tongue on. And yes, I’ll stop here.

We sat next to a street-side window, but turned glances revealed great views of the mighty Potomac. While it wasn’t the most spectacular evening I’ve ever spent, and it wasn’t cheap either – though not ridiculous – I still had a good time there and figure you will too once you make up your mind to rent an apartment in Old Town, a charming neighborhood in Alexandria.

If you stop in, say hi to Boom for me.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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