Terry and I seem to get up to Dayton more and more lately. We both have some friends up there, and his friends happened to have tickets to the recent broadcast of Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Terry’s favorite radio quiz show. We were told to pick the restaurant. After asking around a little, I settled on Thai 9, in the Oregon District of Dayton.
Thai 9 is in a cool space– lots of exposed brick and ductwork. Despite the cool space, the restaurant itself is unassuming and casual, with an expansive menu of Thai and other Asian specialties.
We started out with appetizers– Terry, Melissa and I all got the Tom Yam Kai soup. It was delicious– just slightly spicy, with big hunks of chicken, mushrooms, onions floating in the rich blend of chicken broth and coconut milk. I love the contrast of hot, sweet and just a little spice, so this hit the spot.
David picked the Mango Salad, which was on a spiciness scale of 1-9. Cute. Thai 9. But on a salad? I tried a bite– he ordered a 6 or 7– and it was tasty, but the hot overwhelmed any sweetness the mango salad would have had, to my tastebuds.
For entrees, Terry and I both got salads. I ordered a Steak Salad on my other friend David suggested, which is in a spicy vinaigrette. I ordered a 3, which at most Thai restaurants in Cincinnati would be just a tiny bit spicy. It burnt my lips. It was good, but I will order a one next time so I can really savor the vinaigrette and the tender bits of steak– the salad was wilted with the heat of the meat and the amount of vinaigrette they used, but that’s okay– it really worked with this salad.
Terry picked the seafood salad, which included shrimp and squid in a similar dressing to the salad I had. He was a little more adventurous and ordered a 5. He sweated. He was uncomfortable. It was way, way too spicy for his tastes. So, buyer beware: their spicy is Thai spicy, not American spicy.
Both Melissa and David have a high tolerance for heat, and ordered their panang curry and chicken Thai spicy as 7s. They sweated. They were uncomfortable. They loved it! Just goes to show you that one person’s too spicy is another person’s heaven.
We skipped dessert– we had to make it to the theater for Wait, Wait– but next time I go, I will try the sweet mango rice, which looks really good. They accommodated our need to get in and out quickly very well, and the service (after an initial lag in the beginning) was friendly and efficient. I will definitely try it again soon (but they really need to get down to Cincinnati so we can wow them with our restaurant scene!).