In a region that considers putting brown mustard on a bratwurst risqué, it’s somewhat surprising that Upin Thai is so popular. A true hole in the wall marked by a deteriorating sign on an ugly brick building, this eatery certainly won’t win any awards for ambience. Inside, though, the owner whips up delicious real-deal ethnic fare like pad Thai and yum-yum beef within a clean little kitchen. Locals call in advance to place their orders, but don't hesitate to walk in; you’ll only wait 10 to 15 minutes for your food to be prepared. Just keep in mind that seating is sparse at best; Upin Thai is mainly a carry-out business.
The sweet and sour dishes are highly regarded, but we suggest the chicken red curry with sticky rice for $8.99; it is redolent with the flavor of rich coconut milk and not too spicy (though you can request more heat). The egg rolls (three for $4.99) are hot, crispy served on a bed of shredded carrot with a dipping sauce. The menu nods to its North Dakota setting with ginger walleye. Wash it all down with Thai tea ($2), a creamy sweet tea concoction that refreshes on a hot summer day.