The Baymeadows location of Pattaya Thai Grille is located in a strip mall amidst a slew of other ethnic restaurants and grocers. Inside, Pattaya Thai is pretty dark and looks just a bit dated. The furnishings are dark, the walls are dark, and everywhere you look are gold and jewel-tone accents. It feels inviting, but like it could use a little updating.
Our service was great. Our server was friendly, thorough, and prompt. We were greeted and shown to our table right away. After looking over the menu, we decided to start with some Crab Rangoon and a bowl of Tom Yum soup. I also ordered a glass of Thai Iced Tea, one of my all-time favorite beverages. You just can’t beat that sweet, creamy, earthy flavor combination. So, of course I was thrilled that it was such a large serving.
Our appetizer and soup came out quickly, which was great because we were starving and the smells coming from the open kitchen were so enticing. I know it just screams “cheap Chinese takeout” but I love crab Rangoon, so I was really excited to try these. And they were great…definitely not typical takeout Crab Rangoon. Because of the addition of a little curry powder, these had a much different flavor than other Crab Rangoon I’ve had before – the flavor was little more smoky and a bit sweeter. It was an interesting and tasty combination. They were a little messy to eat, though. The filling was more liquidy than I would have liked, so every bite sent hot crab rangoon filling squirting out onto my hand. A little messy, but otherwise very good. The Tom yum soup was a real treat. It was light, flavorful, and incredibly fragrant thanks to fresh lemongrass, lime, onions, and tomatoes. Pattaya Thai Grille uses a lot of fresh ingredients straight from their own garden and that was really evident in the Tom Yum soup. It had a complex, bright, fresh flavor with just the right amount of spice and citrus. The spicy and sour flavors were balanced really well.
For our entrees we ordered Chicken Pad Thai and Duck Green Curry. Anytime I eat at a new Thai place, I just have to give their Pad Thai a try. And this Pad Thai was pretty good. The chicken was juicy and tender. The noodles were cooked perfectly, and the sauce was good. I ordered my Pad Thai mild because I’m not a huge fan of super spicy food, but I wished there had been a bit more spice to it. It was a little too light on both spice and salt, so it came across just the slightest bit bland. But, thanks to the various spices available on our table, that was easily remedied. It was nice to be able to customize my spice level on my own to get it just the way I wanted. A dash of soy sauce and a little chili sauce brought out a lot more of those delicious Pad Thai flavors that I like so much. The Duck Green Curry on the other hand, was definitely not lacking in flavor. The deep, aromatic green curry spices and sweet Thai basil really came through in the creamy sauce. It was full of sliced eggplant and bell peppers. And the duck was moist and delicious. Unfortunately, we did come cross a bone or two in a couple of bites. It didn’t detract from the flavor, but it did make eating the dish a little trickier.
For dessert, we just had to try the Mango Cobbler on their list of specials. It sounded amazing, and in reading a little about Pattaya Thai Grille before our meal, it seemed to be one of their most-loved dishes. And it was easy to see why. The pastry crust was flaky and light. And the mango flavor shone through, but without being overly sweet. To top it all off, the coconut ice cream on top was just amazing. It was sweet, creamy, and refreshing. It was a perfect complement to the warm mango cobbler.
All in all, our meal at Pattaya Thai Grille was really good. Service was great and the food was better than your standard neighborhood Thai place. It was a bit pricier than other Thai places we frequent, but we also felt that our meal was a bit more “gourmet” than we usually get from our neighborhood Thai restaurant, so it was worth it. Pattaya Thai Grille had a few menu offerings that were different and a little more unique than we’ve found at some other Thai restaurants we’ve tried. So, it was nice to have one of our favorite ethnic cuisines, but with a bit of a twist. We wish we would have tried Pattaya Thai Grille earlier and we will definitely be coming back…especially for that Mango Cobbler! We also hope to head downtown to check out their new King Street location at some point. I’m sure the craving for yummy Thai food will strike again soon. Now we have double the Pattaya Thai Grille to choose from when it does.