Once you’ve had the opportunity to indulge in authentic Thai cuisine in Thailand, it is a struggle to find anything comparable in the United States. It was a blessing to stumble across Ban Mai Thai in the small town in Grants Pass near the border of Oregon and California. This was the first meal we’ve had that has brought us right back to the motherland.
Wanting to sample everything, we ordered a feast: Pad Thai with shrimp, Eggplant Stir-fry with veggies, Penang Curry with chicken and Salad Rolls with Shrimp. Nothing disappointed! Our Salad Rolls came out first, tightly packed with crispy veggies, glass noodles, and cold shrimp in sticky rice paper. They are served with a heavenly peanut sauce and an additional soy-based dip. We knew we were in for a great meal.
Pad Thai is thick with Asian sauces and spice, maybe needing a bit more peanut sauce, but delicious nonetheless. Bean sprouts give the dish an extra crunch and the added shrimp are plump and juicy. The Eggplant Stir-Fry is so sweet that it resembles dessert. It is piled high with large chunks of soft eggplant and various added veggies. Already pleased with our food, we expected it couldn’t get much better.. but we were wrong. The Penang Curry is fantastic! The smooth texture, coconut milk and slight mint flavors accompanied by thin sliced chicken and vegetables tasted as authentic as dishes in rural Thai towns. We were in heaven! It was slightly spicy but was exactly the taste we wanted to linger in our mouths after the meal was done. The only thing that made this meal better was that the stir fry and the curry came with free rice; a necessity we feel should be complimentary with most Asian dishes.
The chef was clearly passionate about her food and wanted the highest enjoyment from her customers, and she succeeded. We felt the Thai friendliness throughout the whole staff and will definitely return whenever we are missing a taste of Thailand. Be sure to stop by if you love curry or are interested in a true taste of this wonderful Southeast Asian country.