As regular readers of my blog may note, my spouse and I have no hesitation gravitating toward spicy hot dishes and cuisines. Add to that a relative of ours with roots in Thailand, and we do like to keep a specific eye out for some good Thai cuisine.
Columbus isn't really what I would call a Thai cuisine hotbed, and it became less so when one of our favorite restaurants overall, Westgate Thai and its collection mouth-burning heat combined with multi-note flavor profile dishes, decided to call it a night. We still miss Westgate terribly, but thankfully Southeast Columbus' Bangkok Thai has helped soothe our loss a good bit.
On their website, Bangkok claims to be the longest running Thai grocery store East Columbus, with the restaurant established one year later in 1984. But unlike Westgate, the restaurant is a distinct space from its market, where one can grab Thai-focused food products, video, and even have some jewelry repair done.
In many ways, Bangkok's restaurant interior still looks like it firmly resides endearingly from the 1980s. In fact, the restaurant still uses menus that might date close to restaurant's initial opening; these worn but perfectly usable hardcover menus even sport a hand-scribbled price change or two. The restaurant does plenty of takeout, but those who are seeking to dine in will find a casual, friendly environment, perfect for those without time-sensitive plans.
Another tasty dish is the Pad Woon Sen: also called Dry Sukiyaki on the menu, this offering combines bean thread noodles with Napa cabbage, watercress, egg and bean curd sauce with your choice of protein. It reminded me a bit of a Filipino pancit or even sotanghon guisado dish, except with an added spicy heat component.
Speaking of spicy heat, the "Thai spicy" level is pretty decent - it may never reach the upper limit possibilities of Westgate, but we've had a nice mouth burn when we've asked for it as such.
One more appealing thing about Bangkok Grocery and Restaurant is the prices: nothing really rates as terribly expensive, especially if you don't opt for seafood in your dishes. While not the biggest factor for us in terms of where to eat, it definitely helps keep this unpretentious eatery in our consideration rotation when we're roaming in that part of the metro.
Bangkok Grocery and Restaurant
3277 Refugee Rd (Southeast Columbus - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43232