Steppin’ Out – Taste of Thai

taste of thai 2It has been two years since I visited Taste of Thai, the restaurant at 1160 Broadway, the corner of Mosquito Road and Broadway in Placerville. My friend Russ Salazar had that on his list of restaurants to visit, so he asked me if I wanted to go there for lunch one day.

A few days later we met at the restaurant and walked in. If you have never been there, you should at least stop by to look at the place and pick up a menu. We both agreed it is one of the most beautiful restaurants in El Dorado County.

The walls are nicely paneled and everywhere there are gorgeous decorations from Thailand lighting up spots in the restaurant. And, it is clean and quiet.

The last time I was there I spent a lot of time talking with the owner, “Minnie,” and trying samples of many of the dishes. This time she was in Folsom opening a new restaurant, so I didn’t get a chance to see how she and the business were doing.

Shortly after we sat down, our server, Phong, handed us their very large menus and we started deciding what we wanted to try. I had brought my story from two years previous, so I had some idea about the dishes, what they were made from and which ones I liked.

After we looked over the menu, Salazar looked me and said, “This menu is way too complicated since each dish has a number of unfamiliar ingredients, and it is difficult to read. That may be why,” he added, “that there are only a few customers here.”

I hadn’t thought about that, but it is probably true. There are nearly 100 different choices on the menu, most all with Thai names. But, if you have difficulty deciding, the servers will be very happy to help you choose a dish or dishes you will like. Be adventurous. I am sure you will be delighted with the food.

It is also important for you to know that if you have an allergy or intolerance to anything they will make the dish without it. Also, you can select how spicy most dishes are, from mild to “Thai Hot.”

I have eaten in a number of Thai restaurants, yet still I have difficulty choosing a dish. I dislike eating the same thing every time just to be safe. After all, I will eat anything at least once, since food is an adventure to me.

With a bit of help from our server, we finally decided to try two dishes from their Lunch Menu, which is available on weekdays, unless it is a holiday.

Although I had planned on trying something new, since we were sharing I had a dish I had enjoyed once before, Pad Thai, which consists of rice noodles with egg, chicken, shrimp, fried tofu, green onions and bean sprouts, topped with ground peanuts.

Salazar chose Pad Prik, with pork, chili, onions, bell peppers, water chestnuts and sweet basil leaves. It came served on white rice. He also asked for hot tea to enjoy with our meal.

With our lunch came either soup or salad. Unfortunately, they had no house soup that day, something quite common at restaurants during the summer.

Our salads were very nice, made with fresh, crisp lettuce and a good vinegary dressing, a nice start to the meal.

While we were waiting for our entrees, I shared with Salazar some of what Minnie had told about Thai food: Pad means stir fried, Prik means pepper, Gaeng means curry, Gai means chicken, Yum means salad, and so on.

You can also try these words: Chan Hew means I am hungry, Aroi means delicious and Chan Im means I am full. It is amazing what you can find on the Internet.

Our food was Aroi, delicious. All the vegetables were fresh and not overcooked, my noodles were wonderful and overall, it was a good eating experience for both of us.

Salazar is an expert with chop sticks. I, on the other hand, am terrible with them. I drop most of which I pick up. I was pretty good with them when they were thicker and made of bamboo and larger than the ones they have now, but not with the new, slim wooden ones.

The very large menu at Taste of Thai includes Appetizers, Chef’s Specials, Soups, Salads, Stir Fries, Curries, Noodles, Fish and Seafood and more. And, there is a special section of the menu listing what we selected from, a large number of weekday lunch specials. Beer and wine are available for your meal.

You will notice on the menu that there are a number of similarities between Thai and Indian food. They use a lot of the same spices, curries and other fresh ingredients. But they still are different.

Taste of Thai is open Monday through Thursday from 11 until 9 and on Friday through Sunday, until 9:30. They also have a special area for groups and can create a buffet for 20 or more.

For more information call 530-621-9559 or just drop in for some delightfully different food to eat in or take out.

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