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The Thai Room; The Crab House

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The Thai Room, located downtown in a handsome, refurbished 19th-century residence, has the city's best outdoor dining areas. And it was the first dining place to offer a Thai menu in the area, which may be why its style seems more Western than Eastern. Not that I want to have my palate anesthetized by fire, but I do expect a complexity of flavors in Thai food that includes a certain amount of "hot."

Starters can include one of three soups ($3.95), a salad ($2.75 - $8.95), or one of the 10 appetizers ($5.95 - $8.75). A Siam sampler was a choice to share — a spring roll and satays of shrimp, chicken, and beef. Along with delicate sweet-sour and peanut sauces, these were accompanied by a good cucumber salad, which accompanies several of the appetizers and main dishes. Steamed dumplings filled with ground shrimp and pork and served with a sprightlier chile sauce added a nice complement to the satays.

The main courses ( $8.95 - $15.95) at the Thai Room are divided among chicken, beef, seafood and some traditional pads which may include some or all of the above. There are usually some specials, also. The service was amiable and efficient, the ambience comfortable and soothing. And if you're looking for a nice Thai place to take your mother, stop by. It's tame Thai. — Davis Morton

Beauregard's Thai Room
103 E. Cary St.
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Dinner: Monday. - Thursday 5:30 p.m. -
10:00 p.m.; Friday - Saturday 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.

The Crab House is a family restaurant that offers a break from some of its more freezer-to-fryer counterparts. The menu offers an impressive selection of steamed items, by weight or per piece, including shrimp, top-neck and littleneck clams, blue- and green-lip mussels and, of course, crabs. Dinners include fried frogs' legs ($15.95), steamed sea scallops ($13.95) and catfish ($8.95 - $13.95), and are served with your choice of sides including coleslaw, fries, new potatoes, rice pilaf, applesauce and daily options. — Kevin Finucane

The Crab House
The Shoppes at Innsbrook, 4040 Cox Road
Lunch Monday -Friday from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.;
Saturday-Sunday noon-4p.m.
Dinner Sunday-Monday 4-9 p.m., Tuesday,
Thursday 4-9:30 p.m., Wednesday 4-10 p.m.,
Friday-Saturday 4-10:30 p.m.
Hours subject to change depending on the

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