I admit to not being well versed on Thai food; all I know is that I like it. I couldn’t tell you what is authentic and what’s not, but Taste of Thai, located on 1628 Broadway, makes the guessing game easy. Their tag line reads, “Authentic Thai Cuisine” and is followed by the key attributes, “Fresh, Healthy and No MSG,” so I would just assume that this is the real deal.
The small restaurant probably has around 20 tables, and is set up giving space between tables. Incredibly clean, and moderately decorated with classy decor, there is a soothing vibe that fills the restaurant. The staff is always pleasant and never gives off that feeling that they just want you to eat and leave. All the elements of a good meal are in place before the food even comes.
Being the low budget baller I am, the first thing I consider when evaluating a restaurant are its prices. Taste of Thai meets my standards of price to proportion: a meal for two (plus tip and an appetizer) will cost you about $30 dollars, but you will have at least two meals leftover. Doing the math that’s around $6 a serving, which isn’t bad considering it’s high quality food. Curry and noodle dishes with your choice of chicken, meat and vegetarian dishes cost $8.95, while shrimp dishes go for $10.95, and seafood combinations reach $12.95. A la carte dishes range from $10-$14, and they also feature delicious chicken specialties. Salads are in the $7-$8 range and appetizers fall somewhere between $5-$8—across the board, not a bad deal.
On this particular visit my girlfriend and I ordered relatively bland in hindsight, but sometimes the best gauge of a restaurant’s abilities are how they serve the basics. Starting off with some spring rolls (forget all that fried mess), the tone was set for a meal of fresh and flavorful ingredients. These particular rolls were again of perfect proportion, with just enough lettuce and rice noodles, with a fair amount of tofu and the slightest hint of mint leaf. A sweet and sour dipping sauce topped with peanuts accompanied the appetizers and made the dish that much more enjoyable and addictive.
For the main course we had the vegetarian gaeng massaman curry, which consisted of a light curry with potatoes, carrots, onions and peanuts. The curry itself, which can be ordered to preferred spiciness, was rich in flavor but not overbearing. Each vegetable was cooked just enough to retain some of its crispiness and complemented each other nicely. It was a hearty meal, and could have only been enhanced by meat (my girlfriend is vegetarian, lucky me).
Our second entree was the traditional pad Thai. Lame, I know, but after trying a lot of the other dishes (and enjoying them thoroughly), it seemed appropriate to see how the restaurant handled the most traditional of dishes. To no surprise they hit it right on, with a hefty portion rice noodles with just enough flavor to tickle the taste buds. Loaded with egg, chicken (on the side in my case), shrimp, tofu, green onions, bean sprouts and topped with ground peanuts there are more than enough elements to be appreciated. It even passed the next-day test, tasting just as good cold as it did warm the night before.
Our meal was incredible. Taste of Thai live up to their slogan, always using the freshest ingredients, and after eating you don’t feel weighted down or greasy. Just go check it out, and I promise you’ll like it.