Friday afternoons are a tricky business in New Orleans. You either work through lunch so you can leave a touch early or maybe you just blow off the whole afternoon. Not me though, but maybe you do. Last Friday, Lindsay had skipped lunch for some reason or another and I had to run an errand after work. All of this added up to at 5:45 both of us deciding to just go grab a quick bite to eat before going home.
While driving around town, we went through the usual litany of "Where do you want to go?" before settling on Bangkok Thai. It had been a while since we ate there and I convinced Lindsay to go by reminding her they don't hold back with the heat. We should have kept driving.
The problem with bad meals is sometimes you see it from a mile away, but you still can't stop the collision course with bad meals. We walked into Bangkok right before 6 and were the only diners in the joint. Sign #1. There was no beer, the establishment having lost its liquor license. Sign #2. The menu was four pages too long. Sign #3. Yet we still placed our order and hoped we had been wrong.
First came finger size twigs of shrimp "marinated in house special spices", wrapped in thin sheets of crunch, and deep fried. These would have been a hit on an airplane. The other appetizer would test our patience at being polite. Crispy, fried tofu, which despite the name, was not. We only ordered it to see what Bloggle disowned the pig for. Obviously, it was not this dish. Flaccid, cubes of splintering tofu with less flavor than a couch cushion came with two dipping sauces: a sweet one and a peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was not half bad, comparatively. The sweet one would have made a hummingbird hyper.
Lindsay ordered a vegetable red curry which came out with the color and aroma of a wet golden retriever. I've had fresher vegetables at a McDonalds. My entree arrived a few moments later adorned with grey shingles of chicken topped with a gritty peanut sauce. Thank God I asked for it spicy. The broccoli ringing the plate was limp and soggy, yet still cold in the middle of the stalk. That broccoli was disproving Einstein's Theory of Relativity before my very eyes.
This is obviously a restaurant that is both trying to do too much but doing not nearly enough. I am sure they can cook, but they don't seem to want to do that. With its location and accessibility to the youth of Loyola and Tulane, now tuned into food more than a decade ago, Bangkok Thai should be cooking the food they cook for themselves. The authentic foods that one reads about in breathless expressions - spicy, fragrant, steaming, etc... Or at the very least competent versions of the Thai cuisine classics. They should not be frying pre-made snacks from a factory and pouring ready to eat sauces over flavorless proteins.
We quickly paid the check, which even though the meal was regrettable, was tame. On the way home, we developed a new rule: never again.
Bangkok Thai - Double Bogey
Don't worry, you don't need the address.