Coronavirus

Good to Go: Ginger Thai’s Red Curry Offers Special Blend of Sweetness and Spice

Red curry with chicken to go from Ginger Thai
Red curry with chicken to go from Ginger Thai Taylor Adams
Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas' restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.

Ginger Thai could’ve easily been included as great takeout before we entered a pandemic that forced us to focus on regular food items that are “good to go.”

But procrastination has us here, and the red curry has us writing about it now.

The folks behind Ginger Thai have been serving their food for longer than 30 years, though the East Dallas location has been here for less time than that.

On the appetizer side, there are fresh salad rolls, which, if you’re like some of us and have for some reason not been eating vegetables during the home-stay, sound like a good idea ($4.95 for three). Shredded lettuce and a basil leaf are wrapped in rice paper and served with a basic, sweet peanut sauce. They’re fine, but you’re really better off with the chicken spring rolls, which are deep-fried and stuffed with chicken, cabbage, carrot, onion, celery and glass noodle, served with a sweet-and-sour sauce ($4.95 for four).

click to enlarge Half portions of the salad rolls with peanut sauce and red curry with chicken - TAYLOR ADAMS
Half portions of the salad rolls with peanut sauce and red curry with chicken
Taylor Adams
It’s a large menu, and we’ll get right to the curry, which gets its own section with a few options.

Since we first ordered the red curry back in 2016 (did we mention procrastinating?) it’s been hard to order anything else ($7.95 at lunch; $9.95 at dinner). If they ask about spice, they’ll give you the one-to-five range for options. Level three is usually too spicy for mild folks with just enough heat to linger a bit. The sweetness is inconsistent on visits, but never too minimal or too much — this actually makes ordering the dish on a regular basis more interesting.

As it should, this curry has coconut milk, bell pepper, sweet basil and plenty of bamboo shoots. It’s just sweet enough, wonderfully spicy (should you get the appropriate level four) with a bite of funk from bamboo shoot.

Even better: The dinner portion is enough for two servings. So save the rest of that curry in its deli cup for a future night. After some time, you'll get a spicier version.

click to enlarge Microwaves are acceptable for reheating; this writer just doesn't use one (in fact, it's used as a bread box). - TAYLOR ADAMS
Microwaves are acceptable for reheating; this writer just doesn't use one (in fact, it's used as a bread box).
Taylor Adams
Bake the rice with a bit of water covered in foil at 350 until soft and warm. Reheat the curry on the stove on medium-low until warm. Sure, you could use the microwave, but you’re home. Might as well take the time to do it right.

We keep mentioning comfort food in this feature because it’s what we (or at least this writer and Nick Rallo) want right now. Comfort food is alive and well in this bowl of curry-drowned rice. Whether you’re having it at a table full of your family members or sitting on your couch for another night at home by yourself, the spicy sweetness is what you need to just feel better for a moment.

We’re told Ginger Thai has always had good takeout business, and that’s held true during shelter-in-place. If you’re looking to avoid longer wait times, avoid the weekends. They’re pretty darn busy Friday and Saturday, but super quiet Sunday through Thursday, they say. Tuesday night dinner options are sounding a bit better now, right?

Ginger Thai, 6434 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 111 (Lakewood). 214-887-6175. Curbside pickup, takeout and delivery available.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.