Best Way to Stuff Your Face With Thai Food for Under $5

Critics' Picks

two-for-one coupons at Cozy Noodles & Rice

3456 N. Sheffield

Winner of our 2008 Readers’ Choice Award for best restaurant bathroom, Cozy Noodles & Rice has more to offer than just a kitschy toilet. Last year owner Suppaluk Meunprasittiveg, aka Tee, offered Cubs fans two-for-one entrees with a ticket to the day’s game (the restaurant is a stone’s throw from Wrigley, hidden on a residential stretch of Sheffield). Now two-for-one coupons can be found on the restaurant’s take-out menus and on the back of neighborhood Jewel receipts. Any day of the week two people can dine for a grand total of about $8 (my last bill came to $8.30 after tax), and Tee says he has no plans to stop the promotion. “My customers don’t want to spend lots of money with the economy,” he says, and neither does he, for that matter—Tee drives to Chinatown to pick up his fresh noodles at 70 cents a pound rather than the buck-per most restaurants pay with shipping.

You can’t beat the price for above-average “basic Thai,” as Tee calls it. Standouts are the basil-leaf ground chicken and the pad khee mao, both loaded with fresh vegetables in sweet and intensely spicy sauces, with much of the deep flavor coming from staples like palm sugar and fish sauce. The seaweed salad, in yet another sweet and spicy sauce, is a nice light appetizer if you can part with another $3.95. As you might guess, it’s BYOB, with no corkage fee.