Don’t pass up this review just because you think you don’t like Thai food. About 15 years ago I was turned on to the fantastic world of real oriental food, light years apart from the fake Chinese most Americans are used to with its doughy and fried meats drowned in sweet syrups. What I found out is that authentic oriental food is fresh, light, and healthy. Thai Taste lives up to that expectation and my family indulged in several dishes that I’ll describe to you here.
The restaurant is located in a less than conspicuous shopping strip on Evers Rd. in San Antonio, just outside of loop 410. The decor of the place could use some updating and freshening up, but that doesn’t seem to keep the mixed clientele away. The menu is easy to follow with good descriptions for you Thai virgins. Although there is a good selection of entrées, there are a couple of things I usually like to order.
We started off with the Fried Spring Rolls. These are not the egg rolls you are used to, with their limp, thick, and chewy wrapper filled with the same grocery store style fillings you will find at every Chinese buffet. Instead, the light and crispy wrapper is more like layers of Phyllo sheets filled with bean thread noodles, black mushrooms, and cabbage. Served with a sweet and sour sauce, these are some of the better fried egg rolls I’ve had (reminiscent of the Phillipino lumpia).
My son ordered the Satay Chicken (an appetizer, but fairly substantial). These are skewered chicken tenders (very tender, by the way) marinated with herbs and spices, grilled, and served with a delicious peanut sauce. Its a great combination served with a refreshing side of cucumber and purple onion in a sweet vinegar.
My wife and I split two dishes: the Larb Gai and the Pa-Nang. The Larb Gai is ground chicken with toasted rice, purple onion, chili and lime juice. For some reason my dish had a strange off smell. I really couldn’t identify it but it did not come through in the taste. Anyway, I really like this dish. Ground chicken is unusual in and of itself. The rice adds some depth to the flavor and combines well with the tangy lime and spicy chili. Don’t be put off about the heat, though. You can modify the heat to your liking upon ordering. I ordered my dishes at a 3 (on a level of 0-10). I found it just moderately spicy for my taste. This dish combines the three flavors – salty, bitter, sour – very well.
We ordered our Pa-Nang with beef, which comes in a rich sauce made with a blend of red curry paste and coconut milk. The beef (probably round steak) was stewed until it practically fell apart. I’ve had this type of sauce before but with a much brighter and richer red color. This one had more of a brown gravy color to it, but tasty nonetheless. This is one of those dishes that is probably too rich to eat a whole serving of, so its a good one to share.
My girls split the Chicken Fried Rice. It is probably the best fried rice I’ve had. It is obviously made to order since the rice was nice and greasy from the stir fry and full of slightly firm white and green onions and tomatoes. To my surprise, there was an ample amount of chicken and fried egg as well.
Lastly, we split some Coconut Ice Cream and Fried Bananas for dessert. The ice cream is more like a sherbet and was probably store bought (I’ve found it at oriental groceries), but it is complemented well by the warm sticky rice it comes served with. Believe it or not I’ve had this ice cream elsewhere that had corn and green beans mixed into it (what a sneaky way to get the kids to eat their veggies, huh?)…either way, great flavors together.
The Fried Bananas were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside served on a small pool of honey. Extremely sweet and very satisfying.
Be aware that many of the dishes are garnished with crushed peanuts. If you are allergic, or simply don’t like the taste, make sure to tell the wait staff. If you have never had Thai food I hope you give this place a chance and experience a different, more authentic, and very satisfying oriental flavor.