Thai Smile 2

Admittedly, we had a bit of a bias going into our dining experience at Thai Smile 2. The original location in Muncie was a favorite dining spot for some friends of ours, and they have never had anything but wild praise for Thai Smile.

We started with fried spring rolls, and even David ate one! If you can get a two‐year‐old to eat something, you know it’s good. We also had fresh spring rolls, served cold and topped with a sweet/savory sauce.

I ordered the dry egg noodle bowl. Think high‐quality ramen noodles with lightly battered chicken and just the right amount of sweet and spicy house sauce. The chicken wasn’t greasy (I don’t nornmally order fried food, so this was a little decadent of me) so I didn’t feel overwhelmed. This was less like noodles in broth, as there was vrey little liquid in the sauce (hence the name “dry egg noodle bowl”. They do offer several soups on the menu, however, if you’re looking for something a little more slurpy. In retrospect, I could have uooed the spice level (I ordered a 3 out of 5) but there was still a little bite, and I was happy.

Chris opted for nam sod, the spicy chicken salad with chicken, peanuts, onions, and the perfect amount of tangy lime juice. His meal had such a fresh, light taste to it. Chris won.

And then there was David. We went for the safest Thai dish we could think of: pad Thai, of course. He loved his “noonles” and although he was more interested in greeting the other diners, he did seem to agree with our choice. Chris noticed this version of pad thai didn’t have any vegetables like previous ventures had. J told us that Thai Smile 2 goes for the more traditional versions of these dishes, and pad thai is meant to be more noodle‐based and hearty, as opposed to being mixed with all those sissy vegetables. More carbs!

We were treated to a plate of sleeping banana, a banana wrapped in an egg roll wrapper, fried, and covered in a creamy caramel sauce. Even I ate this (split four ways, though, so it didn’t seem as naughty) and you know I’m not so high on bananas.

Even though we went in with high expectations, they were exceeded and Chris even said how much he’s looking forward to going back, since now Thai is his favorite Asian food. The service was excellent, prompt, and very friendly, and we were completely comfortable being there with David (a new and very important bit of criteria we use when dining out these days).

The lunch combos are apparently a great deal, too, so perhaps in the future we’ll visit during daylight hours. In the meantime, what better way to spend a cold, frosty winter evening than eating tasty noodles with friends?

Update 2/11/08
So, it was another cold evening (snowing outside) and we were not in the mood to cook dinner. This was the perfect choice. Atin (the owner) said Mondays and Tuesdays are usually slow, and we were the only ones in the restaurant, although several people picked up carry‐out orders while dined in. Regardless, the owner, Atin, remembered us from the last time we were in, which was a few months ago. good business savvy!

We went again with the fresh spring rolls, and I maintain that any place that gets a two‐year‐old to eat something that contains egg and beansprouts deserves four stars in and of itself.

I was in the mood for something with basil, but decided instead to try the special, sauteed (meat of choice) with green beans and red bell peppers in a chili sauce. I asked for a “3”, which is medium spicy. Wonder of wonders, after suffering for more than a week with a heinous sinus infection, this was the first food I could actually taste, and it. was. excellent. There was even fresh basil in the sauce, and the spiciness was just right…mighty flavorful without being painful. The beans were perfectly crispy and the chicken was tender, not chewy.

Chris chose the thread noodles with beef, and although he also ordered a 3, the sweat started to bead up on his forehead after a few bites. It, too, was flavorful and excellent, the vegetables crisp and the meat tender.

Knowing that David has been on a pineapple kick lately, we ordered him the pineapple mandarin chicken, declared one of the most popular dishes. Though it was too sweet for my taste for dinner, it’s very tasty overall, with a huge piece of crispy chicken dunked in thick citrus sauce.

As a surprise, Atin even brought out a special dessert (fried ice cream) for David, and I threatened to bring him back for Atin to watch when he was so hyper from the sugar. How can you go wrong with fried ice cream?

Again, we were so impressed and just felt so happy after leaving Thai Smile. The food felt comforting on a night like this, and it was not the least bit greasy or oily as Thai food tends to be. It was fresh and tasty and we are so looking forward to our next visit.

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