The Thai food tour continues. Most recently I visited Thai Basil in Riverton; quite a distance from my home. Ironically I had never been to Thai Garden & Noodle House, which is very close to me. A quiet Labor Day afternoon seemed like the perfect time.
The first thing you have to love about any (okay, most) Thai restaurants are the fabulous lunch specials. This particular place had a 2 item combo with salad for $8.00. Not bad at all. The portions are smaller than dinner but if you eat lunch at least twice a day like I do, you won't need to worry. To clarify, I only eat lunch once a day, but I do snack a lot.
Being very hungry in the mid-afternoon, I was anxious for the food. The salad came and it had the creamy poppy seed dressing. Good enough but if you are a Thai restaurant, serve the peanut dressing. It's much more authentic and tasty.
My lunch arrived: Tom Yum Kai & Gang Keaw Wan. The first is the Thai Hot & Sour Soup and the second is Green Curry. A big reason for my tour of Thai restaurants is to find the best Tom Yum Kai. So far Pawit's Royale Thai is number one with Tasty Thai second. This had a different mix of ingredients from the other places but a close to perfect broth. A perfect broth consists of the right amount of vinegar and hot chili spices. You know it's good when it makes your mouth water as you crave the next spoonful. Final verdict: very good and is tied for second place with Tasty Thai.
I fell in love with green curry at Thai Basil. It's not incredibly spicy like red curry but has more of a kick than massaman curry; just enough to make you feel alive without having to gulp copious amounts of water after each bite. The green bell peppers, peas, and zucchini were so incredibly fresh. It's as if they grow a garden out back and pick them each time a dish is ordered. One of the best aspects of this dish are the bamboo shoots. You would expect a woody taste but it more resembles the flavor and texture of ginger. All this mixed in creamy coconut milk. I was a little taken back at how quickly I ate all of it.
The Thai food here is fresh with no MSG or other additives. It's an explosion of freshness and flavors leaving you happy and content. Nostalgia then set in for me. While walking across the street on that quiet afternoon I realized again why Rachel and I always take a vacation in September. It's cooler, the crowds are gone, and having no appointments other than figuring out where to go for your next meal leaves me completely relaxed and rejuvenated. Hello Puget Sound later this month.
When you do eat at Thai Garden & Noodle House, ask for Richie as your Waiter. He is incredibly attentive and especially knowledgeable about Thai food. He has worked in many Thai restaurants and even does catering. The owner of this joint use to own Siam Orchid. It was originally named Thai Garden. Upon the sale, the new owners changed the name and the menu; my review here.
868 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84105