Thai Spice Express- The fairest of them all
by Andrea Afra
You know you’re in the vicinity of authenticity when you see something like this: a hearty meal conveniently wrapped for someone who doesn’t have time to stay and eat. Think fast food. This is basically a #4 with fries, Thai-style.
Thai Spice Express is located at 8282 Bellaire near Fondren. There are eight other Thai Spice restaurants in the family, cousins if you will, like Thai Spice in the Village, which is good but a little pricey due to the location and definitely doesn’t offer the pre-packaged meals pictured above, Thai Spice Asian Cuisine in the Heights and Thai Spice Buffet at Voss and Westheimer.
Thai Spice Express may sound far off for some folks in my neck of the woods (Montrose) but if you jump on 59 S. you can be ordering in 15 minutes. The “Express” factor means that the food is on the table so fast, that even in the midst of some of my onriest hunger bouts, I have made the drive there for dinner knowing I would be feeding the monster sooner than I would be at a restaurant in my area.
We go here quite often and about 93% of the time I order the Tom Kha Kai- the spicy lime and coconut milk chicken soup elixir, which comes in a big bowl and every bite is the perfect love child of all of the best taste sensations. If a place gets this right, then you can bet on most of their dishes being A OK.
On our last visit, for the sake of this blog, I chose to forgo the soup and order the Yum Nur, which is a salad of charbroiled sliced beef, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, mint and cilantro tossed in a spicy fish sauce and lime based dressing. It’s a simple dish with complex flavors and being that it’s a salad, it’s pretty healthy, but the tender meat makes it filling and worth ordering for dinner. I was surprised and pleased that Express’ version included the mint. It really makes the dish and I’ve seen other places omit it, not doubt due to not selling it and having it go to waste.
In the past, we’ve also ordered a whole steamed fish and the DIY family hot pot, a massive vat of broth with endless critters and goodies to throw in a cook yourself at the table. It’s great fun, though, I didn’t know you were supposed to crack the egg over rice, so I just boiled it. Eat and learn!
by Andrea Afra
Reader, writer, nature chaser. Follow me @commandrea and @wildinhtx, read other writings at http://andreaafra.com