Restaurant Review: Bhan Thai
Last Friday we ventured away from Downtown for lunch & ate lunch in al fresco, Thai style at Bhan Thai on their cozy patio.
We showed up in the middle of lunch rush & still got a table outside very quickly. While this was nice, we did not see the waiter for a while afterwards. I knew it was lunch rush & figured our waiter was in the weeds or did not know he had a new table. Just as I was starting to get annoyed, he appeared, but wait, what is that in his hands? Soup? We haven't even ordered yet? I thought he was delivering us another tables order of soup. The nerve. Making us wait....here...hungry...starving, smelling the heady, spicy, Thai aromas wafting from the kitchen, yards away & now putting this bowl of soup in front of our hungry mugs...
"Your complimentary Tum Yum, sir. May I get you guys something to drink?" He chirped.
My hero. I wanted to give someone a high-five, but only after I got this soup in my gullet.
Spicy, sweet & delicate with a small number of mushrooms & tofu swimming in the bottom, reluctant to hop in my spoon, it was delicious to say the least. It was a very nice touch.
The menu is full of good Thai mainstays. A good number of curries of all temperatures, Pad Thai, Pad-See-U & some house specialties like the Drunken Seafood Combo that looks awesome with a melange of almost everything under the sea, including mussels, shrimp & squid. The house specialties all look great & I would have a hard time choosing, but not today. At $12.95-20.95, they were all out of my measly lunch budget. Luckily there was an fantastic lunch menu with exceptional prices ranging from $6.95-8.95.
I went with the Bhan Thai Noodle & a glass of '04 Erath Pinot Noir, one of my favorite Oregon Pinots (thumbs up for having this on the menu). Paul had the Bangkok Spicy Cicken. The Bhan Thai Noodles is a heaping plate of flat rice noodles with ground chicken, shrimp, squid, tofu, onion, carrot, baby corn, mushroom, and bean sprouts served in Bhan Thai secret sauce. It was way more than plenty for lunch with enough leftovers for a satisfying meal for both me & Laura the following day. It was good but not great & better the second day. It had a symbol, a wish bone I think, next to it on the menu signifying "spicy". It wasn't spicy at all & kind of a let down, I will stick with one of their curries next time. Paul also complained that his Bankok Spicy Chicken was too mild. If they are not going to make their spicy dishes spicy, they at least need to have some Sriracha on the table.
It was good, but not a profound dining experience & I don't know if the spiciness level is toned down for American palates, but if so....I am extremely insulted.
Again, as with Lolo's table, I saw something I like to see....The owner pouring her sweat into her business & what looked like her passion, serving food in her restaurant.
I give Bhan Thai a 3.5/5. It would have been a four if my dish would have at least been spicy enough to make my nose run....a five if I cried.