Veggie Girl: Ginger Thai
Don't be alarmed by the website. To be fair, Ginger Thai actually has a really nice one, with colorful shots of curried asparagus and spring rolls. It would be downright welcoming if it didn't read, on the "location" page, "ginger is said to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy."
OK, I get it: They're trying to show us the value of ginger. "For thousands of years, Asian civilization has used ginger medicinally as well as in cooking," another text box reads. That's helpful, I guess. It's just that--well, who wants to see the words "nausea" and "vomiting" on the site of the restaurant from which they're ordering dinner?
There's a flip side, though: Maybe Ginger Thai didn't put a lot of thought into their Website because they didn't have to. Maybe the proprietors were sure that, even if people read about irritable digestive systems, they'd still have a good food experience.
Ginger Thai is, after all, another of those no-frills Asian restaurants tucked incongruously into a brick-and-concrete strip mall. On the inside, it's quiet and peaceful--except for the Beyoncé track pulsing softly in the background--with drawn curtains, vaguely kitschy décor (a must, at places like this), and plastic chairs.
It was a rainy weeknight, which is always a great excuse for watching "Dancing With the Stars" and eating massive amounts of Thai food. I say massive because, when I arrived at Ginger Thai to pick up my food, I was actually frightened by the size of the portions.
Huge! There's no other word for it.
We shouldn't have ordered so much. The Pad Kee Mao--wide, flat fried rice noodles with veggies and tofu--was disappointing. The noodles were gummy and overcooked, the tofu was bland and dry, and the vegetables tasted suspiciously of fish sauce (my fault: I'd forgotten to specify that we wanted it without). The green papaya salad, one of my all-time favorite Thai dishes, was much better: light and refreshing, garnished with julienned carrots, crushed peanuts and just the right amount of spicy red pepper.
Where Ginger Thai shone, though, was with their version of green curry. Creamy yet incredibly "light and airy," as my friend put it, it was spiced just perfectly. The bamboo shoots were tender but not limp, and the tofu soft and flavorful.
There are plenty of options here for meat-eaters and vegetarians/vegans alike. All curries can be made with either meat or tofu, and the same goes for the noodles and stir-fry plates. The menu is longer than one might expect, with several dessert options including black rice pudding and fried bananas. Everything runs around $7 (lunch) to $10 for non-meat dinner entrees. In the end, there was no hint of "nausea or vomiting," and Ginger Thai will stay on my list for those nights when all I need is some down-home, curry-style comfort.
For great Thai noodles, though, the search continues.
3797 Forest Lane #107A (on Forest, just east of Marsh Ln)