How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? -Homer Simpson
So first off, Homer is right… I may not have taken a winemaking course but I have drank wine and I forget how to drive (therefore my husband always takes the wheel since he doesn’t drink anyways). Secondly, it’s true… every time I learn something new or experience something new it pushes the old stuff out of my brain… and I can’t remember what the old experience was like.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion I will immediately post all things Calgary related as soon as possible before my next experience or else I’m screwed and become this horrible reviewer.
A couple months ago, Miss.Foodie caught wind of a new Thai restaurant in Eau Claire Market in the food court. Thai? Food court? Cheap? Good???? These were the only words that I can make out from that conversation. I figured it was worth a try and they had 100% rating on Urbanspoon, so if that doesn’t poke at your curiosity I don’t know what will. We then decided to meet for lunch at Eau Claire on the weekend.
As we approach the counter checking out the menu, the gentlemen at the counter starting addressing us in Thai. The surprising thing is, is that this guy is what Thai people call “farang”- foreign, otherwise known as… the white guy speaking Thai and you know what, he was fluent and put me to shame. My dad would not be happy with me…. I had such a hard time getting Thai words out of my mouth I swear my grandparents would be horrified.
It turns out that this very nice gentlemen was Jackie’s husband, the chef and owner of what this place is known for. The whole family recently moved to Calgary from Thailand and started Jackie’s Thai at Eau Claire. Talk about huge change.
Well I’m happy they did, because this place is my favourite place for Thai food in the city.
The one thing you should know is that their menu changes daily, so don’t get upset if your favourite item isn’t up that day, it will come back.
The first thing I wanted to order was the Papaya Salad otherwise known as Som Tam in Thai.
What’s great is that Jackie makes this to order, so it’s very fresh. The papaya shreds, carrot shreds, long beans were wonderfully crunchy and the tomato slices gave it a kinda juicy texture. The sweet, salty and sour notes in this salad were all well balanced and peanuts gave it a more earthy taste. This is definitely a delicious salad and I’m pretty sure you can pick the amount of heat you want in it too, which for us ended up being more mild. For the price of $7.95 we got the regular order and it was more than enough for the 3 of us eating for lunch.
A popular dish that is on every Thai restaurants’ menu, the classic Pad Thai Noodles with Prawn. What differentiates Jackie’s from the rest is not only price, but taste. It really tastes like the Pad Thai you get in Thailand. I sometimes feel Pad Thai is super soggy at some places and red because they might have added ketchup. Jackie’s is what I like to call Pad Thai home-style. It’s something reminiscent of what my family in Thailand would do. The condiments are a must, chives, bean sprouts, chilli flakes, cilantro, lime, crushed peanuts… all things Thai cuisine is all about. It was all really really good, probably one of the best Pad Thai’s I’ve had in the city. The condiments are a must in order to get that combination of spicy, sour, salty and slightly sweet all in this one plate of noodles. Jackie also grills the prawns to order so they’re also nice and hot when you get your order. Highly recommend getting this dish for sure. ** Also, another thing about this Pad Thai I really like, it doesn’t taste greasy nor heavy. It’s nice and light for a fried noodle dish.**
Chiangmai Noodles was Ah-Mazing! Really truly one of the most flavour bowl of noodles I’ve ever had in Calgary. Along with the rice vermicelli, the creaminess of the coconut milk and the aroma of lemon grass really makes this dish so wonderful. The broth was creamy but light and the chicken so flavourful and tender. The slight minty taste of galangal lingers in this bowl as it rounds out all the other strong flavours. For only $8.95, this bowl of noodles takes to a whole other level of “yummy in my tummy” and “party in my mouth”. It was so.damn.good.
Jackie’s Thai in Eau Claire is a place that everyone should go at least once. The prices are unbelievably reasonable, the food is delicious, and the people behind it are so kind. They also do take-out as well and take all forms of payment.