Restaurants We Miss: Mie Thai (Woodbridge, NJ)

miethai

Of all the restaurants I will ever cover in this column, Mie Thai was my favorite. In fact, it was one of my favorite restaurants. Period. I had been coming here with my family since I was a kid. I also had many lunches and dinners with my friend Jeff following meetings at a museum we both worked at nearby. Sadly, it closed earlier this year. The owner had been sick and finally shut the business. It was a shock, equivalent to a loss in the family. I staggered away. The service was always friendly, the food delicious, and when you asked for something spicy they gave it to you. Over the years, as my taste evolved, I fell in love with spicy food.

Jeff always seemed to tolerate more than the average human. He would show off at Mie Thai. I may be at that level now, I don’t know. I tell restaurants, “Make it as hot as you can”, because they are either incapable of finding a high spice level, or don’t want you to sue them if you die in agony. Mie Thai actually listened. The result was an intoxicating, sweat-inducing adrenaline rush. You needed to douse yourself with the nearest cold liquid you could find. I can sit here all day typing about all the great meals I had there over the years, but I won’t. I’ll only mention one. I just discovered it on the menu three or four visits before they closed. It was thinly sliced pieces of pork, deep-fried to a crisp, and tossed in a sinister spicy curry sauce with string beans, carrots, onion, and chili peppers. And when I say peppers, I don’t mean as a garnish. They and their seeds were everywhere, forming a kind of paste on the bottom. It was heaven and hell at the same time—such a complexity of flavor and a searing, punishing spice that made you feel as if the devil was breathing down your neck.

Ironically enough, I never got to review Mie Thai when they were open. They are one of the rare restaurants which I loved so much I took it for granted. “Next time, I’ll review. Next time.” Well, there wasn’t a next time to be had. Because this closed recently, I will still give them a score and add them to my Master List. They get 4.5 out of 5 stars from me, the only reason they are not a 5 being because their appetizers were very pricey for the size portion they gave you. However, with their entrees, you couldn’t go wrong. They had a wide range of menu items (including a  separate vegetarian menu), featuring chicken, pork, beef, and seafood. Their Thai BBQ chicken was to die for. You could taste the grill. Everything was amazing. It’s a shame they are closed.

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