Let’s Thai it up!

~Post by Chuck Bradley

There is something about Thai cuisine that draws me like a magnet. It’s healthy, nutritious and, perhaps at least as important, it’s delicious! We are blessed, in Salem/Keizer, to have a good number of Thai restaurants from which to choose. Below is a list of places she who must be obeyed and I have tried, listed in, my estimation of, order of goodness. I’d love to see your line-ups and why you order them as you do!

1. The Red Ginger
4907 River RD N
Keizer, OR
(503) 304-5092

Food: Incredible. (huge portions-reasonably priced)
Service: As good as you’ll find.
Ambiance: Better than average.

2. Thai Lotus
3858 River RD N
Keizer, OR
(503) 463-1985

Food: Very good. (prep time can be a little slow)
Service: Excellent
Ambiance: Good

3. Thai Orchid
285 Liberty ST NE
Salem, OR
(503) 391-2930

Food: Excellent (pricier than most Thai places)
Service: Good to excellent (a little inconsistent)
Ambiance: Good (get a people watching window seat)
Note: Downtown parking can be a challenge.

4. Thailand Restaurant
176 Liberty ST NE
Salem, OR
(503) 581-1006

Food: Excellent
Service: Good
Ambiance: Good (if you like elephants)
Note: Downtown street parking also.

5. Tup Tim Thai Cuisine
3860 Commercial ST SE
Salem, OR
9503) 967-6078

Food: Excellent
Service: Good
Ambiance: Good
Note: Some comments have suggested quality consistency may be iffy.

6. Lanxang Lao-Thai Cuisine
5080 Commercial ST SE
Salem, OR
(503) 588-2220

Food: OK – no complaints
Service: OK – no complaints
Ambiance: Seems a little cold and stark to me

7. Thai Fusion
3330 Commercial ST SE
Salem, OR
(503) 991-5918

Food: Below standards of all restaurants above
Service: Trying but disorganized
Ambiance: Feels like a fast food chain
Note: I have only been here once. Others have liked this place.

8. Thai Beer
1130 Lancaster DR SE
Salem, OR
(503) 585-7701

Food: Marginal
Service: Indifferent
Ambiance: Below average (the whole place could benefit from a good cleaning)


Anonymous said...

Chuck, I would love to try a Thai restaurant, but I have no idea what to order when I go! I love just about everything on a Chinese restaurant's menu. What would you suggest in Thai? My 1st order of business would probably be Red Ginger since it gets such good reviews so use their menu as a guide.

'laina said...

If you like coconut, try massaman curry. Thai Orchid serves it w/ potatoes, carrots, onions, coconut cream, and peanuts with a side of rice. It's a sweeter dish, with a good amount of spice.

Anonymous said...

Guess I should say of all things I don't care for coconut nor nuts in my food. But thanks anyway!

Chuck Bradley said...

Anon, My favorite see-how-they-do order is Phad Thai, usually seafood. It’s a medley of seafood over a bed of medium thick rice noodles in a delicious sauce. I think you will find it a palate pleaser in any of the top five places I’ve mentioned. If you go to Red Ginger (the best choice) plan to bring home enough left overs for another meal.

I’m exited for you. Thai is a wonderful cuisine. You are in for a gustatory adventure!

jeff said...

Huh, my wife and I like the Thai Beer out on south Lancaster.

Anyone been to the one at the corner of Edgewater & Wallace?

Nathan said...

I just love Thai Green Curry - the best I have ever eaten was from a food truck that was parked in the market near my work. An old lady would prepare all the food to order, and it was so cheap and fresh.

Amber said...

We go to the Thai Beer in West Salem occasionally. Some of their food is really good and their rice is great, but I am not a fan of their Pad Thai. Their Pad Thai is a little to ketchup-y for my taste.

Chuck Bradley said...

Anon (November 22, 2010 9:40 PM) OOPS! Just re-read your second post. Better ask them to hold the peanuts on your Phad Thai. Must places include them.

Jim said...

Good list, but I think you've shortchanged Lanxang with just "OK - no complaints". My wife is Malaysian, we both love SE Asian food, and Lanxang has consistently been some of the best Lao-Thai we've found. Service is amazingly good too, especially given that the son is the sole waiter/cashier and runs his butt off.

My strong positive vote is shared by a number of Yelp users to: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lanxang-lao-thai-salem

Chuck Bradley said...

Jim, Thanks for your input. Varying opinions are part of what makes life interesting. Comments like yours are exactly the kind of response I had hoped for. Do you have any thoughts on other Thai places in the area?

Anonymous said...

Lanxang is our favorite Thai food in town as well -- after Red Ginger if course! They do a great job, and if the green walls are too bright for ya, take- out portions are huge and just as delicious. I would say most of your opinions are right on but the food at South Thai Beer has always been good for us.

And is Thailand Restaurant still in existence? I thought for some reason they had changed owners ir something. Anyone been in recently?