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August 25, 2007 / Tony

Lunch at Thai Orchid

Thai Orchid is a little gem of a place tucked away near downtown Moorhead, MN.  It is a decidedly Thai restaurant with the usual selection of spring rolls, noodle dishes, and curries.  It is richly decorated in a deep red color that creates a calming and relaxing dining experience. The food is as good as the décor.  I ordered two things over lunch: Deep-fried Spring Rolls and Pad See Ew.  The spring rolls were simply amazing.  Fried perfectly; they came out as crisp and as light as you could ever want.  And the filling of cabbage, carrots, and spices was piping hot and perfectly seasoned.  It was paired with a sweet and sour dipping sauce that I think was made from sugar being very slowly caramelized in rice vinegar.  Put together, the sauce and spring roll were a great combination as they complimented each other instead of having the sauce completely overwhelm the appetizer as is so common in lesser restaurants.  Here’s a picture:

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My entrée was also excellent but not quite as perfect.  Pad See Ew is wide egg noodles served with broccoli and egg as well as your choice of meat or tofu.  I chose the chicken.  What was right with the dish was a wonderfully flavorful yet slightly sweet sauce that provided just the right amount of flavor to the rest of the dish.  The broccoli was perfectly al dente as were the noodles.  Yet, the chicken was so randomly cut that while some pieces were cooked just right, other smaller pieces seemed a little tough and overcooked.  Overall, though, it was a very well prepared dish even though it was not nearly as good as the Pad See Ew at Kanlaya Thai Cuisine in Washington, D.C., by which I can only mean the utmost comment to Kanlaya.  Here’s a picture:

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2 Comments

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  1. Azrael Brown / Aug 30 2007 7:20 pm

    I’ve driven past Thai Orchid many times, and its home in a disused Hardee’s building with a degraded parking lot has put me off of stopping — but my unfamiliarity with Thai food even moreso. Is there something you’d recommend (other than in your post) that someone wary of unfamiliar foods might start off with? Or, do they have a buffet for experimentation?

    Sidenote: my wife is always amused that their sign talks about something called “crying tiger” that’s grrrrreat (?!) without explaining what it is…

  2. Tony / Sep 1 2007 9:50 am

    I can vouch for the curries there. They are also excellent and have been enjoyed by my dinner companions. As far as I know, there is no buffet option.

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