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Review: Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine

Jake Rehfeldt and Nolan Baker
Originally published February 2, 2017

Nolan Baker

Mae Ploy Cuisine’s convenient location and cool decor makes for a great lunch spot. ★★★½

Mae Ploy is one of the most convenient places to eat for Ballard students. For some classrooms, it is actually closer than the lunchroom. Because Mae Ploy has this advantage, it can probably get away with cutting corners in some areas. Higher quality restaurants such as Un Bien or Morsel can’t get away with cutting these corners because students are already risking being late by going to those restaurants.

The service at Mae Ploy won’t really brighten up your day or reinstate your faith in humanity, but they will serve food to your mouth, and what high school student is looking for a legitimate reason to tip? During lunch hours the staff looks constantly annoyed at the students coming in for a bite to eat, even though they don’t get nearly as many kids as El Camion or the coffee stand. The biggest negative is that, according to a handwritten sign posted above the register, outside food and drink is not allowed in the restaurant, meaning that lunch with a friend who packs a lunch shouldn’t be possible.

The best way to measure a Thai restaurant’s food without ordering one of everything is to order the chicken Pad Thai, a staple at every Thai place in Seattle. Three out of five stars of spiciness is the way to go, but going higher isn’t too intense to ruin the flavor. I would have loved to say that the Pad Thai lunch special blew my socks off, but once I was done and out the door, I had already forgotten what it tasted like.

The only realistic way to go at Mae Ploy (unless you are a Trump spawn) is the $8.95 dollar lunch special that serves a very hefty portion of pad Thai, with your choice of meat. Anything else ranges into the low teens in dollar amount and isn’t realistic for the average Ballard student.

Say you have fourth period ceramics, and lunch is coming up next. It’s actually less of a walking distance to cross 15th Ave and go to Mae Ploy than to walk to the other side of school to the lunchroom. Mae Ploy is in the elite category of convenience, rivalled only by El Camion and Jumpin’ Jimmy’s coffee stand. But Thai food is a labor of love, meaning that time will be very tight to get back to school, and you’ll most likely be eating in class so make sure your fourth or fifth period teacher is okay with food in their classroom.

This is probably the biggest bright spot of Mae Ploy. The decor and vibe of the restaurant is killer. Almost every inch of the walls are covered in cool Southeast Asian knick-knacks or interesting paintings and pictures. It is definitely a place to unwind for a half hour before you have to trudge back into school.

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Review: Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine