Ban Thai Restaurant – Baltimore, Maryland

by KimHo on November 4, 2008 · 3 comments under: Food,Restaurant,Travel

Ban Thai Restaurant
340 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21201
Ban Thai on Urbanspoon

On my second night on Baltimore, although weather improved a little bit (but not by much), I wanted to play safe so, again, I ended up dining in a nearby place. Sure I could have gone to Mick O’Shea’s again, why not try somewhere else? So, again, on the same block, I went to the next busiest place: Ban Thai Restaurant

I have had a suspicions of how Thai dishes are prepared here in Vancouver. In a trip I made to Seattle last year (again, work reasons), my work colleagues and I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered dishes like Pad Thai, a staple in most Thai restaurants. I was surprised it was different to those found in Vancouver. For example, Pad Thai here is, more often than not, reddish (most probably thanks to a tomato-based sauce) and a mild sweet taste, while the one in Seattle had a dark hue (think tamarind) and slightly spicy. Because of this I started to wonder how much Thai cuisine has been “adjusted” to the local taste. With that in mind, I gladly walked in to this restaurant and try how is Thai cuisine on the US East Coast.

Call it camera effect but it was not as bright as the picture above might make you believe. And, not it was not empty either. Compared to Mick O’Shea’s the previous night, the restaurant was about a quarter full (please keep in mind it was Tuesday).

I was prompty seated and given the menu. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to double check the special (written in a board at the entrance) so instead I ordered from the menu. For appetizer, I ordered their “Famous Thai Shrimp Cake – minced shrimp breaded in bread crumbs served with plum sauce”. It was $10.

It was quite good but, then again, when fried food does not taste good? Hehehehehe. One thing that could have improved the dish is a lemon wedge. A bit of acidity in hot fried food does wonders. Also, I was impressed by the workmanship with the carrot…

And, despite what I said about Pad Thai at the beginning, I am sure a lot of people would have expected I order Pad Thai, right? Sure, I could have but one dish caught my attention: Guay Teow Kee Mao – $12, described as “sautéed rice noodles with chicken or beef with hot chili and sweet basil leaves”. So, if the description is correct, it switches shrimp, egg, peanuts and bean sprouts for chicken (my selection), hot chili and basil. If that’s the case, in principle should similar, right? If that’s applicable, I must say I was quite impressed with the dish. It did not feel oily and, while spicy, it not overly hot which was nice in this case. Furthermore, the iceberg lettuce at the bottom gave a contrasting crunchiness to the soft rice noodles.

The bill. Don’t ask me what is written…

Despite this restaurant is not located in a main street, I must admit I was quite impressed with the food. It was quite good. I only wished I had dinner companions that night and try other dishes. Oh, well… One final note, in an odd way, it confirmed to an extent that Thai food in Vancouver has indeed been tweaked. Whether it is good or bad I won’t say but, next time I end up in a Thai restaurant, I will certainly be more wary.

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