It is sadly true that we seriously neglect the northern part of the county with our dinners. Of course, that might be because there aren't as many suitable restaurants to choose from in that part of the county! Still, several people have told me about an awesome Thai restaurant in Florissant, and while it took me some time, I finally got around to checking it out. Yikes! It is indeed easily among the best Thai restaurants in the region, a fact which has been noted, apparently, by its consistent wins in the "Favorite Thai" category in the RFT restaurant polls! So now that I finally have seen the light, you know what happens next... time for us to have a dinner there!
Cuisine - We've had more than one Thai dinner before, so you're probably familiar with Thai food in general. If not, you're in for a treat! Thai food is sometimes labeled as "hot", and while it's certainly true you can get it that way, that is by no means the standard. In fact, the majority of dishes are not hot at all; but they might be labeled "spicy", only because they do, in fact, have a great many spices in them. Curry is a staple dish, and there are several types, typically yellow, red, green, and some special ones like Panang. But Thai curry is very different from Indian curry, as it's made with coconut milk and even when spicy, is still distinctly sweet. Like some other Asian cuisines, many Thai dishes are stir-fried, where the preparation is defined by the sauce and the vegetables; you can then choose the type of meat you want, such as chicken, beef, or pork, or sometimes shrimp or other seafood. Virtually all dishes can be meatless or made with tofu, so vegetarians usually love Thai food. On my last visit, I tried one of their specialties called "3 Flavor Fish", which was a lightly fried catfish fillet in an amazing sweet and garlicky sauce. It was incredible! I can often make a meal just out of appetizers, and the ones at Pearl do not disappoint. The chicken satay (seasoned chicken on skewers with peanut sauce) was great, and the shrimp crispy rolls might be the best I've ever tasted! Pearl also has a handful of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes (such as Pho and crepes) if you want to branch out a bit. Long story short, Pearl definitely lived up to the billing, as everything I've tried was among the best I've ever tasted!
Cost - Thai food is usually pretty economical, and Pearl does not disappoint. A hefty portion of the menu is under $10, most of the rest is only in the $12 range, and almost nothing is over $15. While you can run the price up a bit with some of the tasty appetizers, soups, and sides, this is still an extremely economical dinner, and easily fits into our Cheap Eats category!
Other Info - Pearl Cafe is located on the east side of Lindbergh (the right side if you're heading north from I-270), about a mile north of I-270. It's actually quite easy to find; when you pass the signal at Manresa, start keeping an eye out on the right side. It is just past a Firestone auto center. They have a parking lot but that might overflow, so if necessary you can park in an adjacent lot.
I'll be looking forward to seeing lots of my frugal foodies at Pearl Cafe on Thursday the 16th for some outstanding Thai food!