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Good Restaurants in Chiang Rai.

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To Goski: Last evening I "partook" of BKK restaurant due to the (mostly) favorable forum comments, and I was elated to find it very good! Forget atmosphere and ambiance, I will return for sure, since my current state awareness regarding good places in CR to eat is quite limited due to living "out in the sticks" (but when I do get to town, "25 baht don't mean a dam thang to me!" :D ).

But I did not first try a steak due to other unpleasant experiences in search of a good one. I decided to slip up on one here, by first trying their Cheeseburger plate, along with a bowl of mushroom soop, and an extra order of "French" fries. All was very tasty.

To All: I see I have committed the cardinal sin of discussing more than one topic in the same post. I will put a copy of it here because here it more properly belongs maybe, and if you will forgive me this additional transgression I will try to straighten up hereafter:

:o

There appears to me that there is something or some agenda that is underlying and hidden to such as me (Newbie that I am), regarding the harsh and unreasonable posts regarding Don's Restaurant, Don himself, his pepper growing enterprise, and (apparently) his suggestion of an "Eating Club". I do not mean to offend anyone, do not wish to, and will not jump into the flames of anything or any subject on an ongoing basis (I have better things to do with my time), but I feel the need to make some observations regarding certain strange post as regards the subjects above.

As to the restaurant and the man, my experience there with my "wife" (at the time), was most pleasant and enjoyable, the food excellent and professioally prepared, and the man himself was personable, friendly, down to earth and very helpful regarding certain discussions I had with him about life/business in the Land Of Smiles (smiles which mask their real feelings about us and our kind). Although one can find equally as good Thai food in a few other places, their American Breakfast was the best in all of Thailand IMHO.

As to his pepper growing offering, I see no twisting of arms to buy the plants or cultivate them (and no indication of proof of inability to make a profit by doing so if earnestly pursued).

As to his promoting his business, why not and by any lawful, proper and acceptable means! If he has broken or infringed on some rule of the forum by his statements/proposals (I cannot see any), then the Moderators should bring it to his attention. I have read the discussions about the Moderators and must say that they seem to be quality people - very fair, thick-skinned, and competent - and whether living elsewhere or not, are acceptable to me (a little "PaQuan?). Having said that, if someone living in the rai wants a Mod job, he/she should be considered.

As regarding the "Eating Club", it seems to me that an unfair accusation has been made. It is not believable for me that this man would ever make such a laughable proposal that such a club be limited to his establishment only. I do not believe he ever said or intimated such a thing, but I will Kao Toat and ask him next time I go there to eat. In fact with the kind indulgence of all, I will throw in two of my great experiences "in another life" and in favor of a CR "Eating Club": Both were in a large city. One was motivated and organized by many of those (and their friends) involved in Hi-Rise building construction at that place and time, and there were 30 restaurants where meetings among these of a loose fellowship of mutual interests were held in a different restaurant, once a week. The other was not an eating club per se, but rather an association of restauranteurs desiring to increase their exposure/business by selling for a modest sum, a book of 50 coupons, each of which could be used once at each of the 50 places, and which coupons offered "Buy one complete meal of your choice and get another complete meal of your choice free". No doubt such a concept would be lost on most Thai restauranteurs.

Respectful Regards,

SeeJo

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Yes, with all respect, don't take anything too seriously of what I post. Different taste could be discussed til the end of the world and I also buy burgers from BKK and find them good. I don't eat western food regularly so I can't really compare that well but still there's the difference of taste so it doesn't matter.

What I like about BKK grill though is that they have tried to rip off the concept that Sizzlers has and made it work in Chiang Rai on a private basis. Very well done and I just hope more people could do the same when it comes to other franchising businesses in order to keep the atmosphere a bit. Not necessary perhaps but still likeable.

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This may be a small example of how emails/postings can be taken wrongly sometimes. I thought your were complimenting BKK Grill and wanted to support you on that. It seems that there are better steak places and I will stay tuned tuned, but next I want to try that Italian place DaVinci's, which comes well recommended. I have tried that Mexican food place at Overbrook and agree with everything said about it here - we all apparently await a really good place to eat Mexican. I am partial to Tex-Mex style over California style, and El Paso style above all, but few know about the tasty difference.

Thanks for a nice response.

SeeJo

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I want to try that Italian place DaVinci's, which comes well recommended.

SeeJo

Hi SeeJo, if you go for a pizza I recommend "the Swedish Restaurant"! No, the name is Thre Houses or something like that. But very easy to find. On the Main Road from DaVinci go north and pass 2 trafficlights, at the third in the corner on your right hand is this place. The pizza are great, lots of topping. They also have steaks etc etc.

But only open from 6 pm so no lunchplace.

Enjoy!

:o:D:D

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Yes, I liked that place as well, the name is "Baan glang wiang" in thai (since it's just by wat glang wiang, glang wiang meaning in the middle of the town), but I also think it's Tree House in English. Anyways, I really enjoyed their pizza but I'm afraid I have to criticize both Da Vinci and Tree House for not being able to keep up the quality when it comes to their food. The later one because they don't seem to get enough customers. Again, this might have changed from last time I tried them which is some time ago.

The thais seem to prefer the American styled Pizza Co though. Fair enough, restaurants shouldn't be judged only on what one person says about one single dish, so, like someone wrote before, the best way is to go and try it for yourself.

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All the above info much appreciated. I will surely try the Tree House.

In my view, The Pizza Company serves something similar to pizza only in shape and name. Having said that, some of what they serve is tasty and I will eat there on occasion, but I would not write home about it. Maybe I can give some insight on the franchise and why it hardly resembles real pizza. It was established by an American who is now a naturalized Thai citizen. Bill Heinecke's only business experience has been in Southeast Asia. He started first in Thailand and expanded, and now covers all of this area. He started his first business at the age of 16 in Bangkok, was a millionaire before age 21 and now runs a business empire that includes 32 major businesses straddling this half of the world, and indeed, he is now one of the richest men in the world. An amazing and true entrepreneur whose home is now in the rai I am told.

Bill was the first to introduce the spice-loving Thais to real pizza, and after opening several successful Pizza places he secured a franchise from Domino's Pizza in America for a pittance. Some time later they had a falling out, some court battles took place, and Bill won - mostly. He changed the name to The Pizza Company but if I understand correctly, he may have had to make some concessions, just what I don't know, but it was about this time that the "Pizzas" served began to cater overwhelmingly to the tastes of Thais, and his pizza business blossomed - hence why we Expat folk turn our purist noses up at it.

SeeJo

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I think pizza is very much a food that is up to the customer as to how it comes. If you don't want pineapple, olives, spareribs, frogs legs, bananas and anchovies on it say so.

If you just want a cheese and tomato base with a couple of slices of salami on it say so.

If you can't speak Thai well enough to do this that's not the fault of the pizza providers either. (Says he who once ordered two cokes with glasses of ice in a BKK restaurant and was brought two bowls of noodle soup and a plate of chicken rice). :o

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I surely agree with this. To me a "real" pizza must basically have a genuine Italian recipe dough for the crust (there are many, but none are sweet like the Thais seem to prefer), a genuine high-acidity tomatoe paste (tomatoes in Thailand are very sweet and have low acidity) and with Italian seasonings and Italian portions of it such as Italian Oregano (as opposed to say, Mexican Oregano), Basil, etc., along with true Mozzarella cheese - as a basic starting point - toppings as preferred - pepperoni still hard to beat. At Makro, all the cheese seems to claim "Cheddar" whereas it is really a variation of Kraft Pasteurized American Cheese apparently produced, marketed and packaged under some agreement with Kraft, and exported from Hong Kong or Singapore. I could be wrong on this.

Also let me correct an earlier post. It was Pizza Hut that Bill Heinecke started in Thailand and had the franchise fight with. not Domino's. His first restaurants had real Italian pizza similar to Pizza Hut, but it has definately evolved away from genuine it seems to me. As a matter of possible interest and if this slow connection will allow it, I will include a .jpeg showing his major businesses under The Minor Group, and you will recognize many familiar names represented here in Chiang Rai.

SeeJo

post-52626-1191663830_thumb.jpg

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Took my hill-tribe family to The Pizza the other day. The kids wouldn't eat it and I later barfed! The chicken was worse than 5 Star! I don't like BKK Grill either - hospital food, by me. I notice the 5Star frozen foods place by the main market usually empty - at first I thought it great, being half price and clean, but was later convinced that well heated fresh local chicken, despite the flies is way better. We occasionally eat at KFC, but it's a pretty stupid indulgence we partake in simply for a little modern fun (and I like the mashed potatoes - despite them being usually more gravy than potatoes!).

Last eve we ate at the Fish and Chips place just north of the MaeSalong turnoff past Maejaan. I like owner Clayton, and enjoy his fish and chips quite a bit. The small salad was large! Clayton said he tried to register here, but somehow it didn't happen...

Best places in town - the "Chinese" place on the main road (Pahonyothin) in front of Edison (get there early - they run out of stuff quickly, quite often by 1 p.m. and close early too); the Khao man gai (and khao mok gai, crispy chicken etc) place on the HaYeak sidewalk near the 7-11, Siam Corner, and, yes, Tree House. EkoCha on Rimkok/BanMai Road is also quite good - best sauces in town.

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For those among us who like muslim food I can recommend the beef curry and yellow rice 50baht good portion.

Its about 500mt ish north on the big road at mengrai 5ways just past the gas station on the left going towards the river oposite "the our lady of somthing or another" school?

not very ambient by the road but they score on taste/clean/quality/service I felt they were happy to see me

takeaway normal here aswell ,dont know about times but I was there at lunch today

They have a muslim cresent sign with the quality sign included in it, enjoy

Edited by Keithangel

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For those among us who like muslim food I can recommend the beef curry and yellow rice 50baht good portion.

Its about 500mt ish north on the big road at mengrai 5ways just past the gas station on the left going towards the river oposite "the our lady of somthing or another" school?

not very ambient by the road but they score on taste/clean/quality/service I felt they were happy to see me

takeaway normal here aswell ,dont know about times but I was there at lunch today

They have a muslim cresent sign with the quality sign included in it, enjoy

What sort of things do they have on the menu?

CB

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I don't know about the one KeithAngel mentioned, but intend to find out... I understand it specializes in chicken.

Across the bridge to MaeSai, just past the road to Rimkok (and Ban Mai market, Ekocha etc) is another Islamic place -

a little more expensive than the one on Soi Itsaraphap ("Freedom") by the 100 year old Mosque in town center, but

very good - Khao Mok Gai esp.

There's another Islamic place in the road off Banprapakan just before the 90 degree turn west past Sammakkhi School, a New Zealand language one and Ya G.H. - specializes in Khao Soi. The owner is fluent in English, and has just hung out a

hand-written sign offering translation work. Nice guy. unfortunately, his Khao Soi just can't compete with the best

in the world, at PawJai, on JetYod...

Has anyone tried the steaks at Siam Corner? I usually have the Gai Pad pak met mamuang (chicken and cashew) , which they do an exceptional job on, and nicely put in extra vegetables for me. Meat from New Zealand I think...

but when I want a steak i buy at Northern Farms and make it myself at home, just the way I like it!!! :D:o

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For those among us who like muslim food I can recommend the beef curry and yellow rice 50baht good portion.

Its about 500mt ish north on the big road at mengrai 5ways just past the gas station on the left going towards the river oposite "the our lady of somthing or another" school?

not very ambient by the road but they score on taste/clean/quality/service I felt they were happy to see me

takeaway normal here aswell ,dont know about times but I was there at lunch today

They have a muslim cresent sign with the quality sign included in it, enjoy

What sort of things do they have on the menu?

CB

Def chicken my night security guy at my hotel says that they also have time by time goat(from hill tribes) but beyond my current Thai ability perhaps a linguist will check it out more completly and let us all know.

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I haven't read every post herein, but read about half. I'm also a fan of Muslim food places. The place on the one-way side road alongside the Muslim temple with the green-topped spires. There's a newer place on Rim Kok which parallels the river on the north side, in Ban Mai. nice open air ambiance.

Ever notice how the only restaurants in town with bars of soap bigger than a slivered almond are either farang or Muslim owned? Oh, and the vege place on the east side of the Night Bazaar has soap, and the food is good and low-cost. Plus it's a quiet clean place to read a newspaper and chill - a rarity anywhere in Thailand.

Nice to see there are several very decent coffee shops popping up in C.Rai - some even have live unamplified string music. If you ever see an unamplified guitarist performing in Thailand - go up and give him a big thumbs up - as it's such a rarity. So nice to hear the subtle sound of strings coming from the body of a guitar - rather than the vibrations of a coil in a cardboard speaker powered by electric current.

At least a dozen times I've found a very cool restaurant in C.Rai, and within a few weeks it closes. Perhaps that's an indication that if something good comes along - to keep me from frequenting it. Same sort of pattern with women, but that's another story.

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If you ever see an unamplified guitarist performing in Thailand - go up and give him a big thumbs up - as it's such a rarity. So nice to hear the subtle sound of strings coming from the body of a guitar - rather than the vibrations of a coil in a cardboard speaker powered by electric current.

People might also like to donate some change to the musician as well. Agree with your comment re the subtleties of an acoustic guitar, I am also happy to let fly on a strat and amp when the mood fits to the detriment of the local dogs but I love acoustic as well.

CB

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