Review: Thai Style in Dover, DE
- Andrew Langer
After posting my request for non-Chinese Asian recs on the Eastern Shore, my wife wound up getting called over to Dover for an admission, and so my kids and I decided to head over there with her for dinner. There's a restaurant on 13 that I'd been wanting to try, Thai Style.
It's an unassuming restaurant just south of the 1 and 13 crossover, on the east side of 13. According to Trap, the owner, Delaware law doesn't allow him to decorate the outside of the restaurant much, if at all (Trap had to wait 6 months after opening the restaurant before his request to put up a sign for the restaurant itself!).
Inside, however, the restaurant is quaint, cozy, friendly, and inviting. Thai decorations adorn, and there is traditional Thai music to set the mood. Trap immediately took drink orders as he set menus before us. For the uninitiated, Thai Style's menu gives some explanation as to the various categories of thai food, and inside the descriptions are accurate.
We started off with some pork satay, which was perfectly grilled and seasoned, with a rich peanut dipping sauce to accompany it. Satays can get a little dry, but this satay remained more moist than most.
I also ordered the chicken/lemongrass/coconut milk soup (forgive me for not remembering the thai name), which my wife and I split. This was excellent - perfect for a cold winter evening. It had an even heat, and the milkiness of the coconut was offset nicely by the sourness of the galangal and lemongrass. A few large chunks of poached chicken breast, along with some asian mushrooms, made for a very hearty first course.
For our entrees, we ordered beef sauteed in a garlic and white pepper sauce, a chicken in green curry, and some Pad Thai.
The beef was expertly sauteed - nicely crisped and slightly chewy, with a coating that wasn't gloppy (as a lot of inferior asian restaurants can produce). It had only a slight heat with a lot of flavor, and was accompanied by a sweet chili dipping sauce for an added boost. Some sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots made for some good contrast.
The chicken curry was some of the best that I've had. Slightly hotter than we'd expected (but not overly hot - we've just had green currys that provided very little in the way of heat), that heat was tempered by the creamy coconut milk. The chicken was perfectly cooked, poached like it was in the soup, this time accompanied by snow peas. We devoured it, and I broke my rules on not having rice (it's a diet thing) to sop up some more of the sauce.
Pad Thai seems to be a dish that while having a few basic ingredients, nevertheless is different everywhere you go. Thai style's version has thinner rice noodles, and sticks to the basics: shrimp, egg, sprouts, and ground peanuts and lime on the side. It was well-balanced, not too sweet, and not gummy, either, as many pad thais can be.
All in all, Thai Style is an excellent find on the Delmarva peninsula. I only wish that it were closer to my home. Prices are reasonable, on par with what you'd find in other asian restaurants. Entrees are about 8-9 dollars, appetizers range from $4-$7 for the most part.
- Andrew Langer