Bangkok Bistro sits right on a corner of Cleveland Circle, where it's been since 1988. Its outdated sign and awkward pink exterior don't exactly beckon to passers-by, but the cheap and filling lunch combos do. For about $8 on any day but Monday, you can get spicy tom yum soup, an appetizer, and an entree between 11:30am and mid-afternoon (I think the cut-off is 3pm, but I'm not positive.) Dinner's great too, but I find myself drawn there more often for the great value of the lunch combo that usually leaves me enough leftovers for at least one more meal.
The soup is spicy and warming, especially enjoyable on a frigid winter day as you sit by the window and watch everyone slip around on the slushy sidewalk. (Sorry for the cheesy alliteration; it was not intended.) It's covered with mushrooms though, so if you're an extreme mushroom-hater like I am, be sure to ask for it without them.
My typical lunch is drunken noodles with chicken, and I usually get crispy wontons for the appetizer (delicious little fried goodies stuffed with ground chicken and shrimp and served with a sweet dipping sauce.) Although there have been some inconsistencies - a few visits where the meal was on the bland side - the drunken noodles are almost always full of flavor. The basil is the best part.
A lot of people seem to think the ambience is tacky, but I think it has some charm, aside from the broken booth seat on the left side that I usually end up sitting on. The decor might be a little tacky, but I always find it a welcoming break from the cold, full of tasty, quick food and friendly servers.
I just had some leftover drunken noodles, and they were great. This is a huge compliment from me, because I usually really hate leftovers.
Anyway, if you find yourself in Cleveland Circle around lunch time, be sure to check out Bangkok Bistro.
Address: 1952 Beacon St, Brighton (Cleveland Circle stop on the Green Line C or Chestnut Hill stop on the Green Line B)
What do other bloggers think? Check out:
Les Gourmands du South End - Bangkok Bistro: Thai Food at its Best