Thai lunch stop delights with Pad Thai
There are not many notable Thai restaurants in Gainesville. Sure you can venture to Midtown for some dimly-lit atmosphere and standard Thai at Tatu, or even go to the newly renovated Bahn Thai. I did not realize that Gainesville needed a quality Thai restaurant until Bangkok Square emerged on Archer Road past the I-75 exit. To some that is a ways away. However, it is more than worth the journey.
Nestled in the plaza with Backstreet Blues Chophouse & Oyster Bar and Evolve Pilates Studio, Bangkok Square, from the outside, seems like another hole-in-the-wall Asian "fusion" restaurant like so many others. Upon arrival, however, I knew Toto was not in Kansas anymore. First thing my dining companion, Thomas, said was: "I think I'm underdressed." The restaurant definitely has a very modern, upscale feel, but it also had the casual ease of an open sushi bar and smaller space, which was very comforting. I must say this quaint restaurant gives off a noteworthy first impression.
Another pleasant surprise: the menu. I was expecting pages of small font and rows of detailed menu options confusing even the most decisive of menu perusers. However, what was presented was nothing short of succinct: a moderate amount of clearly described, traditional Thai dishes with just enough variety to appease any appetite. I was yet again impressed. There is a complete B S menu below this feature.
Bangkok Square has a varied vegetarian menu inlcluding tempura, sushi rolls, and vegetarian Pad Thai with a choice of avocado roll, cucumber roll or veggie roll.
Despite my typical indecisiveness, weighing what I am in the mood for with what sounds the most interesting, I went into the meal predisposed to order the Crispy Duck Pad Thai. Various culinary adventurers like myself have raved over it, and since my standard for Thai restaurants is my favorite Thai dish , Pad Thai, I had to give it a try.
I started our meal with an order of egg rolls. I actually preferred these to the typical fat, messy-upon-first-bite, rolls typical of many Asian take-out venues. These thinner, yet packed, rolls were lightly crisped with a flavor-packed center that tasted especially delightful with a dunk into the duck sauce, which tasted very fresh. For that, however, I only had the Chinese take-out packets to compare to.
I continued to be pleased when our meals were presented. I was expecting my Pad Thai to be comprised of thicker noodles with the classic peanut sauce and a few chunks of duck sprinkled here and there. It would be more accurate to describe my dish as duck with a side of Pad Thai, as there was so much crispy duck huddled around the folds of noodles. Not to mention that duck is a very rich meat as it is. The crispy, sweet edges of it complemented the soft yet warm meat and the sweet peanut sauce on the noodles, which were actually thin noodles. Being the adventurous eater that I am, I had to try the dish at a medium spice, despite hesitation, but was relieved that each bite did not have to be followed with a sip of water.
Thomas's dish of the Garlic and Black Pepper Chicken, on the other hand, was the spiciest medium I have ever tasted. While still super flavorful, the garlic playing off the spice of the pepper and seeping into the tender chicken and vegetables, my mouth was tingling for the rest of the night.
From the delicately assembled presentation and flavor of the dish to the service, I have to say I was delighted by my experience at Bangkok Square. The servers, whose accents were a bit thick to understand, were very polite nonetheless. Although I am still partial to the Pad Thai at my favorite Thai restaurant in South Florida, the dish at Bangkok Square was a very close second, especially since it was so different from the usual, from the sweeter flavor to the thinner noodles. I will definitely be back to try another traditional Thai dish, perhaps with a different protein option.
The Pluses and Minuses of Bangkok Square
Bangkok Square + indicators : Not oan verwhelming menu but varied options, good bang for buck, good service, nice presentation, quality experience.
Bangkok Square - indicators: A bit out of the way for this upcomng college graduate
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- Phone Number: 352 375-4488
- Address: 6500 SW Archer Rd., Suite J, Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: West Gainesville
- Web Site: Bangkok Square
- Latitude: 29.604161
- Longitude: -82.41234
Ellen Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:25 Comment Link
FYI- It is not Beef O Brady's anymore - It's the Backstreet Blues Chophouse and Oyster Bar,. "Nestled in the plaza with Beef O' Brady's and Evolve Pilates Studio, Bangkok Square, from the outside, seems like another hole-in-the-wall Asian ""