Monday, September 5, 2011

Thai City

fried rice
Thai City sits just off the intersection of Highway 412 and Mt. Olive in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  It’s right next to White Oak, in a heavily trafficked area.  But you could miss it if you were not paying attention.  We’ve always thought of this as a hidden treasure.  The food is great, the portions are ample, and it’s vegetarian friendly.  Run a by Hmong family, it’s a nice addition to the Northwest Arkansas restaurant scene. 
I usually get the vegetable fried rice, and it is as good as I have had anywhere.  The portion size is so ample that I always take half of it home for the next day’s lunch.  For an appetizer vegetarians can have fried tofu dipped in peanut sauce.  I have also had the vegetable curry, which comes with fried tofu.  I think they can make many of the curries meatless, but they do use some kind of fish sauce in many of their dishes.  I tried something that had the fish sauce once, and was surprised to be told that there was fish sauce in it.  My wife, who is from the Philippines, said that fish sauce is a very common cooking additive in Asian countries.

My wife raves about the catfish curry, which is served only for dinner.  Most of the items on the menu are available for either lunch or dinner.  They can also all be adjusted to your desired level of spicy heat.  I generally prefer mine mild, but my wife likes hers very spicy.

Catfish Curry
Catfish curry

The ambience here is laid back and unpretentious.  It doesn’t have the upscale pizzazz of a place like P.F. Chang’s, or the dark, mysterious atmosphere you find there.  This is more like eating at your neighbor’s house.  It’s usually hot, and the artwork shows a mix of Thai and Buddhist prints in one simple room.  The waitresses are super friendly, but don’t catch them on a busy day.  They won’t have time to chat.  Visit on a slow day, and even the cook will come to hang out at your table for a while.  He will want to know what your favorite Thai places are, and why you have come all the way from Bella Vista.  If you bring your iphone or laptop, don’t expect them to give out their Wifi code.  It’s not Starbucks, you know.
The prices are very reasonable.  Expect to spend $6-8 per person for lunch, and more like $10-12 for dinner. 

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