As an UC alumna, I have no idea how I never made it to Thai Express in college. It has all of the things a college student (and, let’s face it, the rest of us) likes: cheap, delicious food with enough for leftovers the next day. I was sparked to try Thai Express by Ryan Santos, who I interviewed a few months back and mentioned how much he would love to learn from the ladies at Thai Express. They cook large quantities of good quality Thai food; he insists they could cook circles around most chefs in Cincinnati.
He’s right: they are fast, and it is good.
I had a craving for Thai one weeknight, and headed up Vine Street to Clifton. Remember– it’s cash only (there’s an ATM nearby)– and there are only a couple of small tables if you want to eat in. It’s really a carryout place, and at 7 PM on a Tuesday, I was fourth in line.
I decided to grab two Thai staples: Pad Thai and Pad See Ew, both at a medium spice level, as well as an order of spring rolls. The spring rolls were hot, crispy and filled with vegetables and pork– delicious, if a bit standard.
The Pad Thai was, as everyone who writes about Thai Express says, really good. It wasn’t dry, it was perfectly balanced between tart, sweet and savory, and the noodles were just firm enough. It’ll definitely be on my Thai rotation.
I was disappointed by the Pad See Ew. The noodles weren’t the flat, wide noodles but instead the same that were used for the pad thai. The sauce didn’t seem much different, either (it should be markedly so– the ingredients are significantly different), and the vegetables– my favorite part of Pad See Ew– were barely there. I wouldn’t order this again.
Next time I go, I’ll try some of the curries, which I also hear rave reviews about. Total bill? $16, with plenty left over for lunch the next day. It’s a great, inexpensive option.