day forty-nine: taste of thai express
August 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
I know, I’ve been away from the blogging for a bit. Purchasing a house in my new city-to-be, but still, no excuse. And also no excuse for how long I’ve had these two pictures of my delivery order from Taste of Thai Express taking up space on my iPhone.
No excuse, but here goes something that may, in the end, just sound like an excuse.
The thing is, for all the times I’ve eaten at Taste of Thai Express, I can’t think of anything much to say about it. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, as the takeout isn’t ready all that quickly and certainly not any more quickly than at the completely unrelated and, in my opinion, significantly better Taste of Thai restaurant on The Commons.* That said, Taste of Thai Express, unlike Taste of Thai, does deliver, which may make it more ideal in certain chillier and/or lazier situations.
Is this a cop out post? Or just some filler to get me back, as quickly as possible, back into the blogging rhythm for my last few weeks in town? Perhaps. But, even so, I’ve been to Taste of Thai Express many times over the years, and while I’ve found nothing so despicable as to deride, also realized there’s nothing so memorable as to, well, remember. If you like spice and get off on that wonderful, radiating, occasionally hallucinatory Thai spice, 5 or 10 on the scale, top of the tops, you won’t find it here. The dishes I’ve gotten from Taste of Thai Express all tend toward the sweet, like a mediocre Finger Lakes wine. Even something like the Spicy Basil (marked with two spicy asterisks) is tepid. The curries are okay as are the soups. My favorite thing to get here, though, is probably anything with the broad, Wok-fried noodles, like Pad Kee Mao (“Drunken Noodle”) or Spicy Rad Nah (which, again, despite the two asterisks, is still not that spicy). But I’ll take my thick, greasy, pan-charred noodles topped with just about anything.
My only non- or dis- or un-recommendation (which may be a no-brainer, I admit): Don’t order the fried squid for delivery. I don’t know how it looked, tasted or felt in the restaurant, but by the time it arrived at my door, it was pale, lukewarm and soggy. The sweet and spicy dipping sauce covered up these qualities adequately and tastily, but it’s just not worth it. Oh, and if you like cashews and would like plenty of them in your cashew chicken order, go somewhere else. There were maybe eight sad, overcooked cashews tops in the order pictured above. Chicken with Cashew Topping or Chicken with a Few Cashews would have captured the dish more accurately.
Another reason for my lack of enthusiasm in reviewing Taste of Thai Express has to do with its somewhat recent change in location. I used to enjoy the quirky, homey feel of the old State Street location, but find the new, Meadow Street/Route 13 North location (in the old CTB) cold, corporate and cumbersome. It feels more like a fast food restaurant than a place where I’d like to sit and eat. I used to enjoy their food more when I could sit there and enjoy it, but these days, I opt for takeout or delivery.
Okay, my typing muscles are functioning again**. I’m moving on from this lackluster review of blah Thai food and onto, next, something, if not more delicious, at least more interesting, more fun to write and (hopefully) to read, too. No excuses. I promise.
* If anyone has on good information the real scoop behind the naming of these two restaurants, please let me know. Internet lore says that the restaurants are owned by the same family, yet operated by two different brothers. I have no other information to substantiate this. Something, though, tells me this may not be an amicable brotherhood, that there may be another rivalry that runs deeper than copyright…
** Yes, another excuse: I’m still sore from a Monday trip to the gym with a certain muscular graduate student of my very close and beloved acquaintance. I now know the frustration and clumsiness babies and toddlers must feel when trying to do simple things, as picking up cups, brushing my teeth and even typing on my computer have, for the last two and a half days, required a certain amount of forced coordination and will. Maybe I overdid it?
Price: Dinner in a hurry (< $11)
Location: 209 S. Meadow Street (route 13)
Website: Taste of Thai Express