The hubby’s birthday was this past week and, per his request, we went to Thai Garden to celebrate. A small restaurant located up in Five Points, the casual atmosphere makes it an easy place to relax and enjoy a meal. The decor prominently features paintings of Huntsville by a local artist making “name that location” a fun game to play while waiting. Not that you will be waiting long, speedy service is a hallmark of Thai garden–almost dizzyingly so (make sure you tell them you want dessert upfront or you will have a check before you have a chance to ask).
On this visit, I ordered for the Thai Pad Priew Whan, essentially a sweet and sour dish containing pineapple, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, and my choice of both meat and rice. I opted for beef and white rice. The dish arrived with the rice plated separately from the remainder which not only kept the rice from becoming soggy, but also allowed me to adjust the ratio of rice to sauce, meat, and vegetables to my liking.
The rice was a long grained white rice, light and fluffy which provided a nice balance to the heavier flavor of the sweet and sour sauce. The beef was sliced thinly, and absorbed the sauce nicely, although the occasional pieces would run a bit to the tough side. The cucumbers added a bit of crunch and a brilliant flavor contrast to the overall sweetness of the dish.
The hubby ordered the Pad Thai (seen at the top of the post) which has become one of his favorite dishes. The generously sized dish features rice noodles, bean sprouts, green onion, egg, tofu, roasted ground peanuts, and chicken (his meat of choice).
On this visit, we skipped dessert, but should you go during mango season, do yourself a favor and try the sweet rice with mango. The rice–sugary and sticky–compliments the juicy, lightly sweet taste of the mango in a way that is worth saving room for.
Although Thai food has a reputation for being unbearably spicy, the food can be made as spicy or as mild as each diner prefers. The menu also offers a wide variety of “default spice settings” which allows super spicy offerings to be easily avoided (or beelined for, if that’s your thing). The ability to accommodate diners at varying levels of adventurousness makes it an excellent choice for a low key night out with friends or in-town visitors.
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