Everything Should Be Thanh Thao Quick

Little Bro and I were jonesing for Thai food tonight and caught some chow at Thanh Thao on Hawthorne. I had a handful of Thai places that I would sooner visit in Portland until Little Bro introduced me to this little gem on Hawthorne last year. Thanh Thao serves tasty Thai food at lightning quick speeds and at very reasonable prices. For under twenty-five dollars, we each had an appetizer and entrée, with to-go portions at the end. No wonder the place was packed even for a Monday. And, you know it’s gotta be good when their fellow Asians seem to frequent the place. Don’t they say the same thing about the best Chinese restaurants? That half of China Town’s population are lined up outside the door waiting to get in?

My only complaint was that Thanh Thao seems to have an Westernized version of “spicy.” I had ordered the vegetarian pad thai and the server asked me if I wanted coconut sauce or garlic sauce, with the difference being that the coconut sauce was sweeter whereas the garlic sauce was very spicy. I liked things spicy, so I ordered the garlic sauce. I was expecting my tongue to fall off when while eating it but I barely broke into a sweat. Little Bro thinks that the mildness of their “spicy” food may be the Vietnamese influence at play. I would agree. The Vietnamese cuisine I’d tasted in the past seemed to be very mellow despite being labeled “spicy. (Incidentally, pad thai is very similar to a Filipino noodles dish called pancit palabok, and I’m often reminded of it while enjoying the more prolific Thai version.)

Nevertheless, dinner was satisfactory and affordable– a combination that should be enjoyed as often as possible. 🙂

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