Restaurant Review Roulette: Sawasdee

I’ve done a pretty good job predicting the number of stars that Greg Cox hands out for the restaurants he’s reviewed since I started this silly little mindless game of prognostication (again, this is for entertainment purposes only — no wagering!).  But this week’s review of Sawasdee Thai Restaurant is one where I really don’t know what he’ll do.  I know Greg likes Asian restaurants.  He also has a pretty good grasp of Thai cuisine.

The problem with Sawasdee (the review, not the restaurant) is that he last reviewed it 11 years ago (3-1/2 stars), and it’s changed a lot since that time.  Moreover, they’ve opened a second larger location in the Pleasant Valley Promenade, so I don’t know if he went to that location, the original off Capital Blvd., or both.  And I must say I haven’t been to Sawasdee (either location) in several years.

Doing a quick search on Chowhound, Sawasdee does not appear to generate the “foodie buzz” that a lot of other Asian restaurants get (see Gourmet Kingdom), so I’m guessing that the food hasn’t really changed.  Frankly, Thai food in Raleigh is similar to Chinese from 10-20 years ago, as every place caters to American tastes, and no one (as far as I know) offers solid, authentic Thai fare.  With that, I’m guessing Sawasdee stays at 3-1/2 stars.  Here are this week’s odds:

5 stars — 5,000 to 1

4.5 stars — 75 to 1

4 stars — 4 to 1

3.5 stars — 3 to 2

3 stars — 2 to 1

2.5 stars — 5 to 1

2 stars — 10 to 1

1 to 1.5 stars — 75 to 1

This is really difficult, and my uncertainty is reflected in the odds above.  Have you been to the new location of Sawasdee?  How many stars will Greg Cox give it???

*******************

(Edit) Three and one-half stars it is!

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7 Responses to Restaurant Review Roulette: Sawasdee

  1. Tom from Raleigh says:

    3.5 stars. I get carry out from Sawasdee occasionally. It’s pretty darn good. Certainly the best Thai in North Raleigh, though I don’t know of a worthy competitor. If you can get them to make it really hot, it excels.

    The atmosphere and service are better than at Super Wok or Gourmet Kingdom as far as I can tell, though their food may be more toned down for American tastes.

  2. Rafe says:

    I ate at the new location on Glenwood a few weeks ago, and found the food indistinguishable from the food at the original location on Capital, which speaks well of it. I like the food at Sawasdee quite well, but I have to confess that Super Wok is my first choice for Asian food at this point.

  3. Chris says:

    I love Sawasdee. The new location feels more “restaurant-like”, the original location feels more “mom and pop-like”, the food at both has remained excellent. I’ve never been to Thailand (its on the list of places to visit!) but I have eaten a lot of Thai food, and Sawasdee is the best around by far and away. I don’t know if it is truly authentic, but a lot of other places around seem much more Americanized to me than Sawasdee. I get the feeling that “authentic” Thai food is less discussed than “authentic” Chinese food because real Chinese food has been so bastardized in the U.S. (we call it fake-Chinese food in our house, and it definitely has its place).

    Also, I’ve always had excellent, earnest service at both locations … something hole-in-the wall Asian restaurants are often lacking.

    So, I’ll hope for 4 stars, but 3.5 or even 3 is a good guess.

  4. Alan says:

    I ate there recently and despite others telling me how good it was, I wasn’t impressed. The food was ok, but the service was terribly slow.

    But then Greg Cox and I tend to disagree on restaurants, so I’ll be generous and go with 3.5 stars. (although if i was reviewing it, I would give 2.5)

  5. Mary says:

    3 stars!

  6. Nang says:

    Being Thai, I can tell you this is the best option I have had in the NC, probably the US. The masaman is perfect, the king would be proud.

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