When choosing these A to Z restaurants, we’re standing on the stomachs of giants. We chose Dee Dee because Austin Monthly lists it as one of the best places in Austin and Easter lists it as one of Austin’s essential restaurants.
Dee dee in Thai means good good, and indeed, Dee Dee is Good Good. Slinging up northern Thai street food from a trailer in East Austin, chef Lakana Trubiana grew up in Isaan in Thailand’s northern countryside. Her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes give the freshly-made food–ours took about 15 minutes to arrive–a savory homemade halo. Since Pad Kaprow ($10; spicy stir-fried pork with Thai basil sauteed in a homemade chili paste and served with jasmine rice, a fried egg, and fried basil with a side of cucumber & Pik Nam Pla, a spicy side sauce) graced the top of the menu, I ordered it while the bride went with the Om Gai ($10; spicy rustic herbal chicken, thinly sliced in a chili paste broth with dill, lemongrass, zucchini, chili, spring onion, and Thai basil served with sticky rice for dipping). The Pad Kaprow was a savory avalanche of ground pork (too much to eat in one sitting), but the Om Gai was the real hit with a healthier mix of protein and veggies and a broader flavor spectrum. Both dishes were enjoyably spicy. Dee Dee also serves up lamb, veggie, and tofu-based dishes.
For a side-dish/dessert, we went with the Mango & Sticky Rice ($7, sliced mango on a bed of coconut sticky rice and coconut milk drizzled on top). Another healthy pile of food (we brought half of it home) that was really good. To wash it all down, we ordered Thai iced green teas ($4), sweet and yummy. The bride has a co-worker from Boulder who laments that Austin doesn’t have any good Thai food. We know exactly where to bring him the next time he visits!
Shaded picnic tables and architect-designed landscaping tastefully surround Dee Dee’s, and there’s a Taco Flats Airstream next door if your culinary partner is culinarily stunted. We showed up on a Sunday 15 minutes after they opened at noon and ate outside. It was hot, but, you know: it’s Texas (and not as hot as it was going to be later in the day). The windowless bar at the corner (Kellee’s Place?) is available for air-conditioned seating if that’s your thing. The neighborhood is pleasantly strollable with a collection of mixed-use and businesses. Hops & Grain Brewing is down the street for a post-spice-induced endorphin cold brew soft landing.
This review is part of our sequential tour-through-the-alphabet of Austin’s restaurant scene. Now you know our ABCs!
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]
The food conveniently arrives in its own doggie bags!
The delightfully dainty (but deadly…) Pik Nam Pla.
Om Gai; sticky rice comes with the dish but on the side “To be used like bread.”
Mango & Sticky Rice (the rice is buried beneath)