Recently I returned from visiting my parents in Pennsylvania and found myself without lunch fixings due to a much later arrival at MSP than we originally intended (no Delta, the 1000 frequent flyer miles you provided did not make up for the delays). Thankfully coworkers were going out to lunch that day and they decided on Taste of Thailand in downtown Minneapolis. Never wanting to pass up an opportunity to eat some spicy foods, I joined them for lunch.
Outside of the skyway system but easily accessible with very minimal walking outdoors, Taste of Thailand is located right across the street from Fogo de Chao which almost mocks you as you wait for your tofu or vegetable laden entrees. The inside is simple but offers a good many tables and a small bar which was occupied by two individuals watching some sort of college tournament that no one cares about.
We arrived just after noon and we were seated at a booth along the windows and our orders were eventually taken from the extensive menu (which is incredibly annoying to use online). I ordered the #47 (Pad Bai Kra Prao) which is described as, “Stir-fried sweet basil leaves, onion, fresh mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, red and green bell peppers,” along with your choice of meat (range: $10.50 for tofu/mock duck to $12.95 for frog legs/seafood) as hot as they could make it with tofu. Another coworker ordered the #69 (Rad Na) which is described as, “Stir-fried noodles (or fresh eff noodles) topped with black bean sauce, Chinese broccoli,” as well as choice of meat. Other coworkers ordered different dishes but no pictures were taken and the orders are long forgotten.
As the clock ticked towards 1:00 PM and we were left to be the only other table in the place save for the one where the staff were sitting and chatting, we began to wonder if they were growing the Chinese broccoli in the back to add to our dish. Eventually a server asked if we had finished our meals. Staring at her, then the empty table before me, and then back at her I said nothing and let the obvious dawn on her. She hurried off into the kitchen to see if our meals were ready. A few minutes more and another server arrived with steaming plates of food with the wrong menu item numbers attached. After a sightly longer wait she arrived with our dishes and set them before us. All in all it took just over one hour for our meals to arrive even though the place was totally devoid of any other customers. Apologies were curt and minimal. Not. Cool.
Our waters, which were only refilled once during our hour long foray into becoming intimately familiar with the insides of Taste of Thailand Minneapolis, were filled with fruit but not a lemon as you’d normally expect but a floppy and unfortunate tasting orange slice instead. While I love oranges and I love me some fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, there’s something to be said about extremely watered down orange drinks which brings back not so fond memories of the bottom of a McDonald’s branded jug of sports drink on Field Day. Gross.
My #47 was more basil stalks than leaves but was otherwise full of very bright and fresh vegetables and crispy, yet tender, tofu chunks. While I saw no obvious signs of jalapeno peppers as promised and it was not making my nose run simply from inhaling the steam vapor coming off of the plate, there was some evidence that they tried to make the dish hot. My coworker’s #69 was similarly fresh and contained the same yummy looking tofu but was ordered sans any spice level.
Due to the freshness of the vegetables and the excellent job done on the fried tofu, I gave the dish a pass even though it just barely had my nose running. After asking for the spice tray, which was similarly disappointing, the waitress told me I must like it, “too hot.” Umm no and please keep your opinions to yourself, thanks. My coworker also liked their dish and boxed up half to take home for later. While mine was similarly sized, I opted to eat it all to see if I was missing any of the spice but alas I wasn’t.
I paid for my coworker’s dish as well as mine and the total came to $23.26 before tax. Interesting to note that my dish was listed on the tab as “#47 T – VVH!!!” which clearly means “Very Very Hot!!!” something which it definitely did not live up to.
Overall the food was fine, aside from the spice level, but the service–even on a day when there were very few people to serve–was so awful that I cannot think of any reason why I would ever return to eat at Taste of Thailand’s Minneapolis location (and from what coworkers have said about their other locations, it is a problem across all locations) again.
Have you ever eaten at Taste of Thailand in Minneapolis or any of their locations? What did you order? What did you think of their food? How about the spice level? Were you impressed by anything they had to offer? Whatever you have to say about Taste of Thailand go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Taste of Thailand
11 S 7th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
See all the photos from Taste of Thailand on Flickr here.