Friday, January 27, 2017
Morgantown Edition: Ta-Khrai Thai Cafe
So, a brand new Thai restaurant has opened up above ZenClay along University Avenue, and it's already dishing out meals that will rival many other restaurants in town.
Ta-Khrai Thai Cafe has taken over what was most recently the Dancing Fig location and transformed it into this trendy, but beautifully cozy spot. The vibe isn't entirely different from the previous restaurant, but it's lovely all the same. Lovely dark wood floors, purple walls, bright white accents and beautiful art.
The location is great because 1) it's close to me 2) there is free parking right across the road and 3) the ultra cool pottery studio ZenClay is right underneath. Definitely a nice little gem.
Inside, we were seated near a window and handed these large books full of glossy menu pages. The menu is quite large, and I took a photo of nearly every page so you can check it out. There are a TON of options, so choose wisely.
As we were looking over our options, they brought us some waters full of lemons, limes and grapefruits. My friend Lisa loved it, but it was a touch too sour for my taste, and I asked for a regular water. Mmm I love regular water.
As far as ordering, this presented a challenge. There are just SO many options. I wanted something uniquely Thai, but there's just a lot to sift through. So, I put in an appetizer to buy some time: cheese rangoons. Obviously.
These were ... I think the best I've had in town. Super creamy, but also little hunks of onion all fried up with a sweet sauce on the side. You just can't go wrong. But what's perfect about these is the way they are wrapped makes it so there is cream cheese in every bite (so there aren't those pointy pieces that are just fried), and these are filled to the brim with cream cheese. Plus, I love the little extra texture of onion so it's not too creamy. Just fantastic.
We were presented with another appetizer - on the house. Crab puffs were essentially small fried pockets of crab. It was served with a sort of sweet relish. Not bad, but it's hard to go up against those crab rangoons.
OK, time to choose. I went with the pad thai because I feel like it can be a general measurement by which to gauge. Kind of like every Chinese restaurant needs to, at minimum, have a good General Tso's... I feel like pad thai is probably an easy entry dish for many folks unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, so they should have a good one. You can choose how spicy you want the dish, and she even asked if we'd like hot sauce on the side. No. Thank. You. Just regular, no spicy.
These noodles are a bit thicker than Chaang Thai's, and there's so many wonderful textures. Sometimes just a pile of noodles is a bit much; that texture variation is key. And there were scallions, peanuts, chicken, egg, bean sprouts and cilantro all in a tamarind sauce. The flavor - delicious. Definitely on the sweeter side, but I'm into that. It was very good. I love the slight chew of the noodles and that sweet and flavorful sauce.
It might be a bold claim - but I think I may have a new favorite restaurant in my arsenal. The service was incredible - very accommodating, very helpful and even gave us a 10% discount. One of the other diners knew the place was open from a post I put out and mentioned it to the waitress, who was super thankful. They did only take cash, but they should be online and taking cards by now. Cash might be safe juuuust in case. And, the food - there is a lot, which can be overwhelming, but everything I ate was super good. Give 'em a try. Tell me what you think.
Check out their full menu: