Taste of Thailand vs. On's Thai Kitchen: Pad Thai pandemonium

Categories: Food Fight

padthai2.jpg
Paul Rivera
Pad Thai

When it comes to food from other cultures, "authentic" is a tricky designation. Not only is authenticity complicated by ingredient sourcing and the quality of the chefs themselves, when another country's cuisine is transposed onto our local dining scene, often only the most basic recipes survive. In the Twin Cities, this is the case with Pad Thai, the original Thai fast food dish.

So let's focus less on authenticity -- that threadbare endorsement trotted out by hipsters and food snobs -- and instead get down to which Pad Thai in the Twin Cities brings us the most enjoyable, belly-filling, satiating dining experience.

See also:
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padthai.jpg
Charles Haynes
Pad Thai

The Venue:
Taste of Thailand on Selby Ave in St Paul has been around for decades. Cheap, quiet, and moody, it's the perfect place for a long, rainy day lunch spent plotting your evening plans with a friend or sobbing silently over your student loan debt. On's Thai Kitchen is a bit more formal and stylish. This would be a great spot for a second date because it's quiet enough to enjoy good conversation and there are unusual items to share, like the sour sausage served with slices of ginger, lettuce, and dried red chiles.

The Weigh-in:
Pad Thai is one of the most popular menu items at many Thai restaurants, especially for people new to Thai cuisine. Both restaurants boast of authenticity on their websites, and both deliver seriously spicy dishes upon request. Taste of Thailand has deeper roots in the Midwest, and because it has been a favorite for quite some time, the very fine On's Thai Kitchen is the underdog.

Round 1: The noodles
Noodle firmness is often the deciding factor in these kinds of dishes. Whether ramen, spaghetti, or rice noodles, cooking time matters. We like our noodles a bit firmer than most, though, so our vote goes to Taste of Thailand.

My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
alix.dahl
alix.dahl

all wrong. royal orchid in columbia heights has the best pad thai in the metro area. though supatra's is reportedly the most authentic.

Alexis Logsdon
Alexis Logsdon

Taste of Thailand is not even a contender. I couldn't disagree more with this review. On's wins everything, sorry.

Rob Peterson
Rob Peterson

Those sausages at On's are almost worth killing for

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Bangkok Thai is the real deal. On's and Supatra are very good too, but BTD cannot be beat.

Nora O'Neil
Nora O'Neil

Umm. Yep!!! And then I will find one in Chicago and you can both come and try it.

Jerrid Boutto
Jerrid Boutto

Bangkok Thai Deli has the best Pad Thai... Crushes both places on all levels.

Chris Sullivan
Chris Sullivan

Marcia Dittemore Do you think we can get Nora O'Neil back in town to try this?

Rebecca Van Sickle Fetzek
Rebecca Van Sickle Fetzek

I like Bangkok Thai Deli's Pad Thai, but I've heard On's is a great place to get authentic Thai "grandma food".

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