i am "new" to chowhound - am always reading but never have posted. I did a search for thai and there seem to be an answer that satisfied my curiosity.
I love Thai food. I usually make a Thai inspired dish once a week and eat at a thai place twice a month. I am very upset at the lack of good, CONSISTENT thai food available at a decent price. So far, I have dined at Smile Cafe, Circles, Erawan, Pad thai, and Thai chef & noodle fusion. Of them all, i really do prefer Circles due to consistently good food at ok prices. Erawan is a close second but they are expensive and every time I go, they mess something up! Smile, pad thai, and thai chef i find to be aweful. A few weeks ago, I got take out from Smile cafe and while i was waiting (and the only one there at 7PM on a wednesday night?) i heard the microwave beep several times - BIG TURNOFF. So my question...
Of all these places and other places I have not tried, I am looking for Thai food that has flavor and as authentic as philly can get. I am not looking for other southeast asian type places that have similar flavors. Suggestions? \
None of them blow me away, including Circles, but give Tamarind on South St and delivery from Thai Xpress (on Grubhub) a try. I recently had a good meal at the former and I had delivery from the latter once--while the pad thai was just ok (comparable to Circles imo) they had a pork stuffed eggplant dish that was fantastic. I think the Circles menu is too small and kind of boring, Thai Xpress had much more interesting selections.
Thai is definitely one of the weakest cuisines in the Philadelphia restaurant scene. That said there are two restaurants outside of the Center City area you might want to try. First is Cafe du Laos 11 street. A former colleague of mine from Northern Thailand raved about this place, as the closest thing he could find to home cooking. They have thai and laotian dishes on the menu, as well as dishes that are a fusion of the two.
The second one is in Manayunk. Chabba Thai. They are probably the best thai I have had outside of Washington DC. Definitely can get firey spicy dishes here especially if you ask for it.
Heading out of the city a little bit, my favorite Thai in the area is Chiangmai in Conshohocken. Consistently good and decent prices. Their drunken noodles are probably my favorite thing on the menu.
It's been a little bit since I've been to either, but my favorite 2 in Philadelphia are, hands down, Chabaa Thai in Manayunk, and Vientienne (actually Laos) in West Philly.
Again, it is outside of the city, but Kinnaree in Horsham and Spice Thai in Doylestown do pretty good Thai on a consistant basis.