Rod Dee – Cambridge
On an impromptu date night, Marc and I decided to check out the new Rod Dee in Porter Square. Back in the VERY early days of our relationship, there was a Rod Dee in the Fenway, near my dorm at Simmons College. I don’t remember really taking advantage of it fully, mostly because we were living on love … and because we didn’t have the sophisticated Thai food palates that we have now.
Anyway, the Rod Dee in Cambridge is pretty new, and in a convenient location in Porter Square, just a couple of miles from our house in Arlington. Unfortunately, because of the extreme amounts of snow, we had to snake around the neighborhood a bit in order to find a parking spot, and we did have to park a couple blocks up, but I’m sure when the snow disappears, it will be a snap to find parking (and it’s also on a bus route close to our house too….).
When we arrived at Rod Dee, we were immediately transported out of the cold, gray and wet streets of Cambridge and into the warm, bright, and trendy decor of Rod Dee. The restaurant has counter service, with the huge Thai menu posted on the wall. The wait staff were bubbly and fun — and made us feel like our dinner selections were ABSOLUTELY JUST what we needed/wanted for that evening … which is always a good way to feel.
Speaking of our men selections, upon entering the restaurant, Marc and I heard a woman on the street say to her friends that Rod Dee’s Tom Yum soup was to die for. This ringing and random endorsement was enough for us to confirm our meals for that evening. Marc got a Tom Yum noodle soup with ground pork and I got mine with ground chicken. We also split a green papaya (Som Tam) salad, another one of our perennial favorites. We picked up chopsticks, spoons and cups of water from a serve-yourself station near the counter. We glanced at the various Thai condiments, pickled and smoked chiles, but considering that we weren’t sure what to expect from our meals, we didn’t grab anything other than a briney hot sauce.
Our meals came to the table incredibly quickly. We started with the Som Tam salad, which was SO spicy, our very conditioned tongues burned and our lips tingled. The papaya was incredibly fresh, and the dressing was limey and delicious. The salad contained tiny, dehydrated shrimp, but only a few. It was missing the usual Som Tam accoutrement, including whole, fresh shrimp, diced and seeded tomato, and green beans, but it was still really phenomenal.
Next, our steaming bowls of Tom Yum soup came out. The soup was sweet, salty, sour, and incredibly complex. There were the perfect amount of noodles in each bowl, along with cilantro, crushed peanuts, and the delicious ground meat. The soup was seriously good, and JUST what we needed on a cold winter’s night.
The best part about Rod Dee is that the menu is pretty humongous — and there are a LOT of entree options (though not tons of appetizers….), and SO many of them look great. Apparently, one of Rod Dee’s most well-known and sought-after entrees is the crispy chicken, and that is next on Marc’s list to try. I can’t wait to try their Pad See Ew, as well as a cashew chicken that looks amazing. And, lucky for our wallets, Rod Dee’s menu is very affordable, most dishes priced at least $2 under other area Thai restaurants.
The restaurant also said that they would consider delivering to our East Arlington home … which to me, is aces. I can’t wait to go there again!!