Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at nodessertpodcast@gmail.com! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!

November 13, 2012

Restaurant Review 11 - Thai Cafe

Thai Cafe Exterior

Thai Cafe Menu

Thai Cafe Menu

Thai Cafe Menu

Salad with Ginger Dressing

Spring Rolls

Included in Lunch Special

Pad Garlic with Chicken

Interior - Cash Register & Kitchen Entrance

Interior - Row Of Small Tables

 Sometimes I get tired of the normal everyday lunch choices like pizza, salads, sandwiches, etc.  Being a foodie and an adventurous eater, I don't like my lunches to boring or predictable.  So I'm constantly on the hunt for new lunch places of varying cuisine.  A couple of weeks ago I had a hankering for some type of Asian food and after doing a search of what was within walking distance of my office building I found a Thai restaurant in Downtown Orlando that sounded worth a shot.
Thai Cafe is located at 217 N Magnolia Ave in Orlando, FL 32801.  They have plenty of seating even though the restaurant looks small from the outside, and they offer daily lunch specials.
When I walked in there were quite a few people there (which I always take as a good sign).  And it smelled good, also a good sign.  I was given a small but comfortable table and took some time to peruse the menu.  The waitstaff was friendly when asked questions, and I believe this is a family-owned establishment. 
The daily special is $8.95 ($9.53 with tax) and includes your choice of a variety of entrees with a salad and 2 spring rolls.  The only caveat to this is if you want a dish with beef you have to pay extra because the $8.95 only includes chicken, veggies, or tofu.
There are a variety of rice and noodle dishes to choose from, but I wanted to try something new that I haven't had before.  I had read some reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon and ultimately opted for the Pad Garlic (with chicken as my protein).  The Pad Garlic is served with Jasmine rice and a variety of fresh veggies in a sauce.  And because I got it as a special a salad and spring rolls were included.
My salad came first and I LOVED the dressing.  I have had ginger dressing at various other Asian establishments, but this was by far the best.  It had such a good flavor I even dipped a couple bites of one of my spring rolls in the dressing after I had finished all my lettuce.
Next came my two spring rolls and they were also delicious!  Crispy on the outside with a flavorful filling (that I believed included chicken and some veggies), they were great alone, in the dipping sauce that came with them, with soy sauce, and yes, even with the ginger dressing from my salad.  I probably could have eaten 6 of them, no problem.
My Pad Garlic with chicken was good.  Not quite as delicious as the rolls and salad dressing, but flavorful and quite an acceptable lunch.  The sauce wasn't as garlicky as I thought it might be given the name, but it had a nice rounded flavor, and a bit of pepper overtones.  There was plenty of it, which is more than good with me because I am a big sauce/condiment person.  The rice was adequately cooked, and the veggies that came with it (which included broccoli, zucchini, and carrots) were fresh and cooked to a crisp-tender.  The chicken itself appeared to be thinly sliced white meat, and was cooked to a nice tender doneness.
The service was quick and appropriate for the downtown lunch crowd.  The price seems slightly high at first, but considering the amount of food you get it's a very good deal.  I highly recommend giving Thai Cafe a visit.  I am excited to go back and try something else (as long as it comes with that salad and spring rolls!).  I want to try something on the spicy side my next visit, although I did read that if you're looking for extremely spicy you have to request it as their "spicy" items can be more on the mild side.

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