After our decent but not particularly special meal at Sen Yai Sen Lek we were left with a hankering for some better Thai food. So when we found ourselves heading to the Children’s Museum in Saint Paul a few Sundays ago we followed that visit with a return to Bangkok Thai Deli for lunch (see here for my writeup of a previous meal there). On’s Kitchen is closed on Sundays or else we would have gone there, but really there’s not so very much separating On’s and Bangkok Thai Deli these days. Well, there is the fact that Bangkok Thai Deli is usually crammed for Sunday lunch which means the likelihood of both a wait and fairly spotty service, both of which we encountered.
The wait to be seated was fine but some of the service screw-ups were annoying: it took forever for anyone to take our order; this was not because they were over-extended per se but because none of the servers ever seems very clear on who is responsible for taking orders at any given table. Right after our order was finally taken someone else showed up to ask us what we wanted to eat. The bigger deal, however, was that two dishes ordered with pork came out with chicken instead and they wouldn’t re-do them because the kitchen was slammed. And then it took forever to get our leftovers packed and our check settled. Still, delays and non-optimal meat aside, it was a pretty good meal on the whole, and a couple of things were really very good.
For more details on what we ate (and larger pictures) click on a thumbnail below. There were four adults and three small children eating, but the food pictured was mostly eaten by three of the adults.
In addition to these dishes there were also two others ordered by a member of the party who is unable to eat very spicy food: one was a pineapple curry (which was the other unexpected pork/chicken substitution) and the other was some sort of stir-fried pork in a brown sauce. I didn’t taste the former but the pork was rather blah. All of this, plus some sodas, came to $134 or so with tax and tip. Not cheap for what it is (the whole fish dishes are pricey) but we did all take some leftovers home–it was probably enough food for six adults (so about $22/head). (I think it’s also possible that the tip may already have been on the bill before we tipped again—the kids were approaching meltdown by the time we settled up and I didn’t pay close attention.)
We’re looking forward to eating in Thai Town in LA again at the end of the month—that’ll probably sate our Thai cravings for a while; when we next eat Thai in the Twin Cities it will be at On’s Kitchen.
Oh, and compare the picture of the khao soi here with the bizzaro version we were served at Krungthep Thai, the Minneapolis spin-off of Bangkok Thai Deli. When we’d asked about the state of that dish on that occasion the waitress there didn’t seem to know what it was supposed to look like and said that it wasn’t cooked there but sent pre-prepared from Bangkok Thai Deli. The evidence of the superior khao soi here suggests something either went horribly wrong during transport on the day we ate at Krungthep Thai or that they destroyed it while heating it up. And this version was also far superior to that at Sen Yai Sen Lek.