Dinner In @ Thai Express

Thai Express is a veteran starter in our take out rotation.  It's been in my fave 5 for past 10 years.  And the metaphors could go on.  Needless to say, we're fans.

The Food:  They have a full menu, but for our purposes it's quite simple - pad thai and veggie spring rolls.  Do we eat the pad thai because we are unadventurous eaters and pad thai is the prototypical, stereotypical order for an American?  Nope - I happen to think they have the best pad thai in the city, so why stray?  It has the wonderful balance of sweet and savory and just that bit of tangy that comes from tamarind and can't be replicated (when I spent way to many times trying to make pad thai before looking at a recipe, I could never figure out what I was missing - enter tamarind: game changer).  Their noodles are one part sticky, one part slick.  Crunchy peanuts, your choice of meat/tofu, fresh bean sprouts, and little pieces of cucumber on the side to cleanse your palate when you're done.  At the restaurant, they like to make fun of me because I always ask for lots of soy sauce too.  Their spicy scale is 1-10 - I am usually a 4 or 5, Sarah a 3 or 4 - and they will bring the heat if you dare go in the 7-10 range.  Before I was a pad thai purist, I often asked them to add $1 of veggies - broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, etc.  And I repeat, I believe this is the best pad thai in the city.

The veggie spring rolls are flaky crunchy, then chewy, then veggie crunchy, with a yummy flavorful dipping sauce.  A new addition to the specials board was something they had a different name for, but appeared to be crab rangoon.  You can taste something from the sea, which is a nice touch when it seems like "crab" rangoon typically means fried cream cheese (which is still good, by the way).  Eat your apps as soon as you can so they don't soften up.

As I mentioned, Thai Express also makes other dishes - they've got some great curries and more.  But, I don't think you will ever be disappointed by going back to the basics.

The Ingredients:  I'm not aware of any local, seasonal, organic, etc. ingredients here.  I'll have to ask next time I go.  At this price point, I doubt it ($6.50 for pad thai).

The Story:  As I mentioned above, I've been coming here since my early days in Cincinnati.  They've had the same awesome staff for as long as I remember.  There are a couple folks who have come and gone, but it must not be a bad place to work because there are several people who have been there going on a decade.  They are always fun to talk with while waiting for pickups.  Next time I go in, I'll pick up some tidbits of info and add an update (as well as some interior pics if they don't mind).

Thai Express on Urbanspoon


Jody Weber said...

Thai Express is great and cheap, though I have to say my favorite Pad Thai is from Teak. Have you tried it?

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

Hey Jody - it's been several years since I went to Teak. I'll have to go again and tell you what I think at that point :). Thanks for the comment!