Small Portland Restaurant Quietly Serves Amazing Thai Food


There is no shortage of restaurants to sample delicious food throughout the city of Portland. From the center of activity of the Old Port to the outskirts of the city, there is an incredible selection of restaurants that serve all types of cuisine you can imagine. With so much to choose from, it would be easy to walk past one of Maine’s best Thai food restaurants, a tiny hole in the wall called Esaan.

Located along a crowded stretch of Forest Avenue that includes mainstays such as RSVP and Ameera Bread, Thai Esaan is the brainchild of a mother-son duo who own and operate the business. Their secret comes from family recipes from northeast Thailand developed by chef Siwaporn Roberts. Esaan has great specialty dishes like Khao Men Gai, which is steamed chicken over seasoned rice served with a delicious homemade sauce. If you’re not ready to go too crazy with your choices, all the classic dishes you’d expect are also on the menu, including pad thai, drunken noodles, and moo ping.

If you are visiting Esaan, you will likely be greeted by Ben Boonseng, half of the mother-son duo. Esaan’s dining room is small, but there’s usually a table seat if you want to eat your food fresh from the kitchen and listen to a baseball game in the background.

There are many other great Thai restaurants in Maine, but there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love with this dive. Bring your appetite.

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