Tasty Thai

tasty thai gang dang

What’s this? Another Asian restaurant post? But of course! This Thai restaurant is just on the Southwest corner of Liberty park and is quite affordable and delicious.

Cort, as per usual, ordered Tom Kha. It was delcious, of course. I decided to try something new and went for the Gang Dang or Red Curry with  coconut milk, bamboo shoots, zucchini, string beans, egg plant, bell peppers and basil. It was EXACTLY what I wanted. It was creamy and tropical but with that subtle background heat so common in curries. The flavours were full and varied. I near gobbled it up.

Thai Sapa

thai sapa pho My first bowl of pho in Utah! Notice I say Utah and not Salt Lake… that would be because is was actually in Springdale, UT right outside Zion National Park (literally starts where the park ends). Cort and I went for a midweek spontaneous camping trip. Because we can because we are still unemployed. So we packed our bags and drove for 4 long hours. And after google maps directed us to the WRONG DEAD END entrance (aka Kolob Canyon) we finally made it. And it was a lovely day. Blue skies with scattered clouds. Not too hot, fairly windy.

We hiked up the three Falls right across from the Lodge. I unfortunately had a severely hard time due to elevation acclimation (or lack thereof) and we had to take many more rests than usual. But we made it to the Big Falls and took a nice long relax on some boulders, staring through the trees, tuning out the HORDES of people and children.  And since it was a particularly strenuous hike we took it easy the rest of the evening and went for THAI!

I ordered a pot of delicious green tea and of course the pho.  Cort ordered Tom Kha and thai tea. It was all delicious. The pho was delicately seasoned and had a decent amount of vegetables (though it could have used more chicken.) It was rejuevenating and refreshing and filling. The perfect meal for a first day of hiking.

Cheng’s Beijing

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(Sorry for posting late! I swear I had this all ready and set for yesterday. It was supposed to post at 10am as always… I just had some technical issues apparently. <.>  Here it is!)

Cheng’s Beijing is one of the many Asian restaurants in the Northwest Tucson area. Lately, it is one of my favorites. The dishes are light unlike many Chinese restaurants where you finish eating and feel like you have drank a whole bottle of sauce and a bag of breading. Not necessarily bad, mind you, it simply gets too much VERY quickly.

Cheng’s however  has a lighter touch with sauces and breadings and a heavier one with it’s vegetables. It is primarily Chinese-American dishes, but on my latest venture there I discovered a delicious expansion into the Thai and Vietnamese dishes!

Feeling something veggie heavy, I opted for the Thai Eggplant with Tofu and my dad for the Thai Bangkok Chicken.

The Eggplant dish was exactly what I was expecting from past Thai eggplant experiences. The eggplant was sweet and soft with a crispy skin. The tofu was fried expertly-not soggy or chewy. The vegetables were equally crisp and refreshing.

The chicken dish was well composed. Oftentimes I find that the peanut sauces on these dishes can be too much, but this dish had enough chili and other flavors to balance out the peanuty flavor. The chicken was cooked well, though I came across more than a couple fatty and inedible bites.

This dining experience, like the few I’ve had before at this restaurant, was pleasant and enjoyable and offered a nice variety of flavors and options.

You should also try the Thai Iced Tea when you go. They do it good. (And now serve boba as well!)

Thai Basil (Rural and Apache)

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This Thai restaurant has been the meet-up-with-the-gang spot since my Freshman year of college 4 very distant years ago. My (extremely boisterous and nerdy) group of friends would frequent this place for two reasons. A) It was literally across the street from our dorms – convenient, non? B) Everyone was able to find something to eat here. Even the pickiest of us(*ahem* only chicken and rice, no spice, kind of picky *ahem-cough*) could enjoy a filling and delicious meal. And i guess I should mention that it is reasonably priced, but that’s a given for a college student go-to!

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Thai Basil (named after the herb of the sweet name, which is sweeter than normal basil and has a much stronger flavor) features a laid back traditional kitchy asian theme. What I mean by this is, you walk in and immediately notice the many representations of Buddha (including a seductive lounging young Buddha next to a wine cooler), the simplistic and rectangular dark and red decor and the all Asian staff. It also has a back section with low bench-type-booths covered in red pillows.

Now to the food! I’d rate it an average on the Asian food scale. It’s good, nothing special. It’s not even very Thai tasting. Of course there are the peanut dishes, curries and lighter cream sauces, but it tastes like all other Asian food. You know? Not that it’s a bad thing, it just…is. It takes a remarkable restaurant/chef to produce a strong Asian dish while catering to American tastes. In fact, the best Asian food I’ve had has been abroad where the customer is NOT alway right!

(If you are ever in Lyon, France and want some Thai, hit me up. I know JUST the place. I dream of their Pad Thai lunch specials…)

This visit was during their lunch specials, so I was able to try something different from what I normally get. (I always like to think of myself as someone who tries a different dish every time, but I’m coming to realize that I have my few favorites and rarely stray from them. I’m going to work on it for your guys’ sake though!)

I ordered the Pad Thai with beef. Spicy, please! And since it was lunch it came with a small bowl of veggie soup. I’m going to guess that it was leek or cabbage in a clear broth (pork? chicken?) but it was light and refreshing. Perfect for both sustaining us through the wait and prepping our digestive systems for the starch heavy onslaught.

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