Family Thai [Mark Aaron]

785 Danforth Ave
416-461-9288
open 7 days per week, 12 noon-midnight

 

As part of Wendy’s 30th birthday weekend, we decided to go dine at the newest Thai restaurant on the

Danforth, EOP (East of Pape)-the Family Thai. Conveniently located between my house and Wendy’s on the

Danforth, we looked at the menu and we saw (from the billboard) that they offer a large menu with many

vegetarian options.

Inside this new restaurant is still a work in progress. We did not see any Asian chatchkahs or

knicknacks, instead it looked like a university student’s apartment. The walls are adorned with kitschy

prints found at university poster sales that were laminated. Tables were nice but had milk and sugar

containers in cow prints. Alittle cheesy, not too Asian in decor, but oh well, a work in progress.

I must say all Thai restaurants in the city have the same menu. There is a beef, chicken, seafood

section, a small section with about 5 Malaysian dishes, a menu with alcoholic beverages, an appetizer

section, and a dessert section. Nearly all items are identical. I must confess it gets boring when all

of the Thai restaurants seem to collaborate and make their menus identical. How can i compare and

contrast when there is no diversity. For my meal, i ordered the vegetarian Thai hot and sour soup for

$5.95. The bowl was large and came fresh and hot and very spicy. To my surprise the broth was red and

hot, unlike most Thai Hot and Sour Soups which are black. When i visited a vegetarian Thai restaurant

in Montreal, they told me that authentic Thai Hot and Spicy (Hot and Sour was Chinese, she claimed) was

acutally made with lemongrass and lime and ginger and not black at all, but a yellow-orange clear broth.

She mentioned that the black broth of the Hot and Sour was actually a Chinese soup. How enlightening.

I had a lot of communication problems with the waitress when i ordered the cold veggie rolls. I asked

for a side order of peanut sauce (75 cents) and she told me that the cold veggie rolls came with the

sweet and sour sauce but it did not go well with the peanut sauce. I still insisted on having the

peanut sauce and in her broken, almost non-existent English, she told me i could only have the sweet and

sour dipping sauce.
I told her slowly that i did not want the sweet and sour dipping sauce,

but only the peanut sauce. She finally understand. Next came the hard part, asking her if the peanut

sauce was truly vegetarian, not made with oyster or fish or chicken stock. I asked her the ingrediants

in the peanut sauce and after several tries, she told me what the peanut sauce was made with. The peanut

sauce arrived with the cold veggie rolls and i was happy. The sauce was sweet and runny, not very

thick, but still quite delicious. I prefer thick and chunky, though.

It was funny to see how she reacted when the empty restaurant started getting busier. She nearly freaked out on us. When 2 customers entered the restaurant, she was in the middle of taking our order when she suddenly left and greeted the newer customers. As she sat them down, she came back to us, all frazzled, and apologized. Although she looked like she could have been in her mid 20’s, she acted like an awkward schoolgirl of 16 years old. As Wendy put it, “she was peculiar”.

For my main, i ordered the mango tofu, an assortment of stir fried veggies in a sweet mango sauce with

chunks of mango. My dish came was fresh and portions were large and i was very happy with the price

($8.95). Wendy ordered the Tom Yum Chicken soup with lemongrass, ginger, vegetables, and tofu. She

said it had a slight zing. My soup, on the other hand was the hottest, strongest soup i had ever had in

a long time. It had a bite and was much too strong. I could hardly taste the baby corn, tofu, bamboo

shoots, or the mushrooms. Wendy ordered another vegetarian dish: the stir fried veggies with cashews in

a coconut curry sauce. Since we shared dishes, we were able to taste each other’s dishes. I found her

dish to be easier on the stomach, more mild and creamy, with a medley of stir fried veggies and the

cashews really made the dish tasty. Both dishes were appropriately portioned and we were both quite

pleased with the value of our meal.

Like all other Thai restaurants, expect the typical Pad Thai,

Mango Chicken, Mango Tofu, Basil Beef, Basil Chicken, Basil Tofu, Thai Green and Red Curry, and a

variety of seafood dishes, seafood curries, and other beef and chicken dishes. Most dishes are under

$10.00 and some are in the $10.95-$12.95 price range. Family Thai also serves a variety of beers and

wine and mixed cocktails. Apart from the cheesy, kitschy decor, and the nervous, anxious energy of the waitress with broken English, we were quite satsified. Accepts all cards.

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