Are you tiring of the same food, day in and day out? Well, forget about your problems, and Thai one on. We’ve recently tried several interesting Thai restaurants that have popped up in the neighborhood, and here is our report.

Bangkok Inn Restaurant, 6033 Oram at Skillman, is a good introduction. The distinctively green building can hardly be ignored, but the family-run restaurant is low-key and efficient.

The restaurant has no liquor license, but you can bring your own. Without that extra beer or wine charge, the already moderate prices seem even more of a bargain. This is a real neighborhood-type place, small and intimate – you’ll probably run into someone you know. Don’t miss the entire experience, from appetizers to dessert.

Consider the ever-popular Bangkok chicken (little pieces of chicken stuffed with crab meat, straw mushrooms and water chestnuts) when selecting an appetizer. And the tod mun pla is a spicy fish cake served with a spicy cucumber sauce. Most appetizers serve four and are priced from $4-$5.

The Kai Tom Sha (chicken coconut soup) shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Soups are priced at about $2.

Peanut sauce brings about the distinction in Thai food. The peanut chicken, pork or beef dishes include slices of the meat with ground peanuts over bean sprouts, snow peas and broccoli. The vegetarian dishes and the Bangkok specials also are good.

A word of warning: The restaurant doesn’t take credit cards, so don’t leave home without cash.

Bangkok Inn Restaurant, 6033 Oram, 821-8979. Takeout is available. Open weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday from 1-11 p.m. Closed Sundays.

Once you’ve developed a taste for Thai food, drive over to Lower Greenville and visit Thai Thai, 1731 Greenville, which replaces the Saigon restaurant. Thai Thai also is family owned and operated, but it’s a little more elegant (and expensive) than the Bangkok Inn.

When examining the menu, listen to the waiter if a particular dish is described as being “hot”. Believe me, you haven’t tasted hot like Thai Thai hot. It’s delicious, as well as unforgettable.

You might try, for starters, the Thai dumpling – ground shrimp, pork and water chestnuts wrapped in wonton skin and served with a spicy sauce. Appetizers are priced from $2.75-$4.

Entrée-wise, the Pad Woon Sen (stir-fried chicken with glass noodles, black mushrooms and vegetables) may catch your interest. Or perhaps a Thai-curry dish such as Gang Ga-re will liven your taste buds. Gang Ga-re is Thai yellow curry beef with potatoes and onions in coconut milk.

Entrees are priced from $6.75-$8. The waiters are knowledgeable, friendly and extremely helpful.

Thai Thai, 1731 Greenville, 828-9795. Open weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m., Saturdays from 5-11 p.m., and Sundays from noon-10:30 p.m.

Thai Soon is probably the best-known of the three Thai restaurants discussed in this column. It’s located just up the street from Thai Thai at 2018 Greenville. It’s probably the most elegant and most expensive of the three.

Thai Soon serves a mean lunch special. Prices run about $4 per meal, but there is enough food here for three lunches. You get eggrolls, lunch and tea – all for one price.

Thai Soon is probably popular because of its vegetarian meals. The menu begins with vegetarian appetizers. The corn patties are Thai-style fried corn cakes, while the Golden Thai Lotus are crispy, little cups filled with vegetable curry. Appetizers are priced from $2.75-$4.

The menu includes a long list of shrimp dishes, along with crab, squid and fish entrees. You might try the white snapper with chili sauce or the steamed fish (either catfish or flounder). Prices range from $7-$10.

The atmosphere here is a little more upscale, and the waiters are slightly more intimidating and a little less helpful. But the place always is packed.

I definitely would take my mother to any one of these restaurants. Whether she admits it or not, she has a streak of curiosity about different foods.

Thai Soon, 2018 Greenville, 821-7666. Open weekdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays from 5-10 p.m.


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