I remember the first time that I tried Pad Thai, I was 20 years old (10 years ago!) living in Chicago in Rogers Park two blocks from Lake Michigan, Loyola University and the CTA.
Just a couple of stops south off the red line there is a charming little place called Rice Thai Cafe that I began to frequent every other week. Their lunch specials were very affordable and I always sought out the Shrimp Pad Thai with vegetables PLUS they included an egg roll, miso soup and a potsticker or crab Rangoon! It was a chill $7, that’s a lot of bang for your buck!