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Great Thai Chef (CLOSED)

255 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
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Photo of Great Thai Chef, Somerville, MA It is not often that the name of a restaurant tells you all that you need to know about a place. Great Thai Chef in Somerville is indeed one of those places, though. This quiet little dining spot in the heart of the Union Square section of the city serves up some of the best Thai food in the entire Boston area, if not Eastern Massachusetts. And since very few people seem to even know about it, it also tends to be less crowded than most Thai restaurants. In short, Great Thai Chef fits all the requirements of a true hidden gem.

From the outside, Great Thai Chef almost looks like a takeout spot, but once inside, the restaurant greets its customers with a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. It has a family-run feel to it, and the waitstaff is more than willing to help explain some of the more exotic dishes on the menu. And what a menu it is; Chicken Coconut Soup (a complex, exotic mix of ingredients that greatly impresses this writer), Bean Thread Noodle Soup (a mild yet tasty soup for the less adventurous) Drunken Chicken (hot, spicy, and fabulous), Tom-Yum Noodle (a delicious soup dish that seems to be in a bottomless bowl), Rama Garden (an addictive mix of chicken, vegetables, and pineapple), Basil Fried Rice (lots of heat along with a hearty basil flavor) and many other dishes are featured. Furthermore, nearly all dinners at Great Thai Chef are under ten dollars, and even the duck dishes, which tend to be expensive, are only a shade above that amount.

Great Thai Chef is just one of many fantastic restaurants in Union Square, a place that used to be known for NOT having much to offer in the culinary scheme of things. Times have certainly changed, however, and now this gritty pocket of Somerville has become a destination of its own with choices of Korean, Mexican, Irish, South American, and, of course, Thai food. Along with the incredible Taqueria la Mexicana, Great Thai Chef may be the top choice in the neighborhood. Instead of fighting traffic on the manic roads of Union Square (the person who designed this intersection must have had a sadistic streak), find a parking space and enjoy the peaceful solitude found in Great Thai Chef. Chances are, you'll agree that the owners of this Thai restaurant just outside of Boston couldn't have picked a better name.