I’ve always had this “kind of up, kind of down” relationship with Thai House, a restaurant located in my hometown of Warsaw (the Indiana one). It’s not that the food was ever not enjoyable. It was just never at that make-me-want-to-come-back-for-more level. I blame it on my mother, the same person I blame for most of my shortcomings or, as my wife would likely describe them if you asked her anywhere within earshot of yours truly – “deficiencies.”
Simply put, my mom’s the best cook of Southeast Asian dishes (the general term I’m going to use to describe Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, etc) that I know and the competition isn’t even close. When people ask me where I go out for Chinese food, the answer is almost always the same – “I don’t because nothing beats my mom’s cooking.”
That’s what Thai House was up against – the legendary Lady on Lake Street who fed me right – rice, rice with eggs, rice with egg rolls, rice with fish sauce, rice with soy sauce, fried rice (“Save the burnt parts for Tom – you know he loves his rice crunchy!”), rice and ginger chicken, rice and beef stroganoff, rice with hot dogs …. OK, maybe not with hot dogs but you get the point. Thai House was never going to beat that. Where they did surprise me, though, was a dish typically found in Indian restaurants and that right there, folks, makes a grand ol’ story.
Thai House isn’t fancy and they don’t pretend to be. It’s more of a café-style joint located in a slightly rundown mini strip mall with nary enough parking spots (park across the street if there’s no room). Ceramic tiles cause hard-heeled shoes to echo with every step, wooden chairs scoot up to unencumbered tables and the only soft seating that can be found are the seemingly out of place cracked pleather chairs that encircle a glass-top table set up next to an “it’s always been here so we might as well use it” fireplace. Get beyond this, though, and you’ll be in for a pleasant dining experience.
The staff have always been polite, accommodating and friendly when I’ve visited. Service can be a little slow but you can’t rush greatness, right? Grab a Coke, enjoy the conversation and even saunter over to the lonely fireplace and warm up. The time will pass by quickly and if you’re smart, you’ll soon be enjoying their ….
Thai Curry. There’s a difference between Indiana curry and Thai curry but I’m not going to get into the details in this article simply because I want to avoid the debate of what I got right and what I got wrong. What I got right was trying Thai House’s curry dish.
If I recall correctly, I ordered the green curry. They have a red curry (typically uses red chilies) and yellow curry (curry powder is utilized). My recollection of the dish is that the flavoring was a little on the spicier side meaning it wasn’t yellow which would have been sweet and tangy and it wasn’t red because I generally avoid anything with red peppers in it. We’ll settle on green. Besides, it’s what my wife says we ordered and she’s always right.
In a word used all too often to describe food, it was splendiferous. I mean, come on. Food shouldn’t be this good. It actually made me hate myself for a moment for not ordering it before. I compartmentalized the regret, however, and dug right in like my four year old at the sight of noodles.
I didn’t devour the whole thing. That would be nearly impossible as the servings you receive at Thai House are ginormous. I could have if I really tried but that compartmentalized regret would have been busting out of the box to make me feel bad. Lunch was a pleasant surprise – I wanted to keep it that way.
I almost forgot – the menu has images of the dishes which comes in very handy when ordering. Note to others. 🙂
No adult beverages but they have enough drink choices to whet your whistle and help cool you off if you order a too-hot-or-spicy dish or get too chummy with that lonely fireplace.
If my mom was Thai and I had grown up eating Thai curry, I might have a different opinion to haphazardly fling around in this article. My mom’s not Thai (she’s Vietnamese) so my unbridled joy at finding a dish that would make me want to come back to Thai House many times over was genuine. Maybe I’ll find another Thai curry dish that’s better but I doubt it. Besides, this one’s good enough for me and I think it’ll be just as grand for you.
Now where’s that fireplace. My bones are aching.