Food News

Thai Spice Survives COVID While Its Neighbors Fade Away

Thai Spice's ocean curry is loaded with a wide variety of seafood.
Thai Spice's ocean curry is loaded with a wide variety of seafood. Hank Vaughn
During the COVID lockdown and our subsequent COVID hesitancy to go out and mingle with the public, we made ample use of home delivery. One of our favorite go-tos was Thai Spice, in Far North Dallas at the Dallas North Tollway and Frankford Road. This was not only due to the good food, but also the friendly phone service. Once we started to brave the outdoors and face people, this was one of the first places we went to.

Thai Spice somehow survived the last couple of years when so many of their strip mall mates did not. Chain restaurants such as Blue Fish, Fish City Grill, Jason’s Deli and Fuddruckers are all gone from the center where Thai Spice exists, making it an oasis in an otherwise ghost town. It’s a FedEx Kinkos and them, basically. Needless to say, parking was easy.
click to enlarge Pad see lew bringsrice noodles, egg, gai lan, broccoli and bok choi with bean sprouts in a brown sauce. - HANK VAUGHN
Pad see lew bringsrice noodles, egg, gai lan, broccoli and bok choi with bean sprouts in a brown sauce.
Hank Vaughn
We were greeted at the door by the host with an exuberant welcome and a friendly smile. His enthusiasm sounded familiar, so we asked if he was the one who took delivery and pickup orders over the phone. He was, and we told him he’d helped us get through many an evening the last couple years. We were seated at a table next to a small party of chefs who were raving about the food. Well, they claimed to be chefs, but they didn’t have enough tattoos to make it certain. We took them at their word.

We usually order edamame and spring rolls for appetizers, both of which are good, but this evening we got some pot stickers and a bowl of tom kha soup. The pot stickers contain chicken, shrimp and cabbage and are slightly pan-fried and served on a bed of lettuce with the requisite carrot shavings and dipping sauce. The come four to an order, which means the two of us didn’t have to fight over who got the last dumpling. Everyone’s a winner.

The soup can be of either the shrimp or chicken variety, and we opted for chicken, which was tender white meat in just the right size pieces surrounded by a tangy coconut broth also containing mushrooms, basil, lemongrass, tomato and onion. It was a “small cup” instead of a “large pot,” but it was just enough.
click to enlarge Thai potstickers come four to an order, so hungry couples won't have to fight over their fair share. - HANK VAUGHN
Thai potstickers come four to an order, so hungry couples won't have to fight over their fair share.
Hank Vaughn
At home we usually order crab fried rice and pad woon sen, both of which we really enjoy. We went with something different, however, for our sojourn out: pad see lew and an order of ocean curry. Pad see lew consisted of rice noodles, egg, gai lan, broccoli and bok choi with bean sprouts in a brown sauce and chicken as the protein. It was just spiced enough at level three out of a five-point scale. The ocean curry had a potpourri of ocean delicacies including sea scallops, calamari and shrimp, as well as steamed rice noodles, bell pepper and basil, all in a delicate coconut curry sauce. This had a really appealing presentation in a nice angular bowl served atop some crispy egg noodles that provided a nice crunch and contrast to the curry.
click to enlarge Tom kha soup with chicken comes with a spicy coconut broth. - HANK VAUGHN
Tom kha soup with chicken comes with a spicy coconut broth.
Hank Vaughn
It was nice to actually get out in the real world and eat at a place that obviously tried really hard (and succeeded) during the COVID years. Clearly, the chefs at the table next to us thought the same, for they were still there, talking shop and poking at their food, when we left. We’ll still order to eat in, but it’s nice to know that Thai Spice will physically be there when we want to venture out.

Thai Spice is located at 18111 Dallas Parkway, Suite 200, 469-373-8878
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn