Ban Thai is our favorite place to eavesdrop--there's always someone there talking way too loud about a girlfriend or other private matter. It's also home of the dessert appetizer--mee krob, "sweet and crunchy noodles with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts," which is just about the most brilliant bit of almost-certainly-bad-for-you goodness we've ever partaken. The menu is extensive, from the mild pad woon sen to several pleasingly hot dishes like kratiam pik Thai. Service is friendly and quick--we sometimes wish we could linger longer to hear strangers gossip.
Nestled under Donna's in a comfy basement full of brick arches, this subterranean sushi and Thai place features an expansive menu. Whether simple classics like edamame, pad thai, and pad see iew, or more adventuresome "house specialties" like hor mak thalay (for the seafood lover in you), My Thai has something for every taste. Ours runs toward the summer rolls; they do a nice tempura, too. The service is solid, prices are good, portions are big, and there are drinks--even Mai Tais.
Though Talay Thai Grille hasn't impressed on past visits but recently it seems much improved--so much so that several visits over the past year have left us, and our co-diners, fat, happy, and looking forward to the next meal. Try the duck, the masaman curry with chicken, the drunken noodles, the fish cakes--it's all good, though they have a light touch with the heat. Plus, you'll have your choice of seating, since it doesn't draw the throngs that most Fells Point eateries do.
Besides the finely prepared, affordable Thai food, it's the warm, welcoming service at Thai Arroy that makes us line up and wait for a table at this small Federal Hill storefront. The menu doesn't differ much from other Thai restaurants in town, but the quality is far beyond what you'll find elsewhere. Tom kha (spicy and sour coconut galangal soup) is fresh and fragrant and never heavy; drunken noodles are a balance of sweet basil and chili pepper heat ; gang dang pra, crispy fish in curry shines.
Our perennial Thai favorite hasn't changed much over the years. But what Thai lacks in flash, or even change--give that to its sister restaurant Talay Thai in Fells Point--it makes up with a mixture of comfort and reliable excellence. Noodle dishes, curries that can be prepared with meat, seafood or tofu, and sticky rice with mango . . . we've gone through them all, many times. Tip: Order the sweet and spicy green papaya salad when it pops up on the specials list.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201