Tag Archives: Thai

Bad News, Good News

Eating update. Garden Cafe, the Taiwanese restaurant in the little strip mall at 37th and Payne is gone. That’s the bad news. But a wonderful Thai place opened in the same spot two weeks ago, and after my first meal there last night I have to say this is very good news indeed.

It’s called Map of Thailand .  The remodeled space is lovely- handpainted images of branches and birds on white walls, modern lighting, and a decorative half wall hiding the kitchen door. Lined up along the top are big glass jars filled with signature drinks- lemongrass tea, non-alcoholic red and white sangria.  Upscale touches (without the accompanying prices) include cloth linens, fresh flowers on every table, and attractive contemporary looking dinnerware. It’s BYOB and I was pleasantly surprised when our server asked if we preferred white or red wine glasses.

But it’s the expertly prepared food that will ultimately earn this spot a devoted following.  Our foursome ordered seven dishes- two appetizers, soup, and four entrees- for sharing and each one prompted much oohing and aahing from all.  Here’s the play list with comments:   Golden Bags- stuffed tofu pouches tied with a bit of seawood and fried to a perfect, greaseless crispness;  Thai spring rolls- an unusual filling made with carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage and taro which added a sweet note; Seafood coconut soup, creamy, rich with a brightness from kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass and galanga; spicy basil fried rice with ground chicken; lard nar- wide rice noodles, vegetables, chicken and shrimp in a really intriguing sauce; an outstanding execution of chili duck- half a boneless bird roasted, fried, glazed with spices; and a fine and out of the ordinary Massaman curry featuring roasted peanuts, sweet potatoes and chick peas.

There were no leftovers to take home.  And I’m already thinking about what I want to try next time. Thanks to my  friends, eating adventurers and dining companions extraordinaire Jb and Kristina, for bringing this great new place to my attention.

3710 Payne Avenue, Cleveland. 216-361-222o



Filed under Restaurants, Updates & Changes

Beyond Pad Thai

CNN reports on the growing popularity of real Thai food among Americans.


Are you a fan of authentic Thai cuisine? What’s your favoite spot to enjoy it in northeast Ohio?


Filed under In The Media

Blooming Again in Mentor

Thai Orchid was a wonderful restaurant on Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst. It appeared in the first edition of Cleveland Ethnic Eats. Here’s what I had to say about it.

This is a nice place to enjoy real Thai food. There are curries, many seafood dishes, and full-flavored noodles. House specials have musical names: River and Land (a stir-fry of shrimp, chicken, and beef with mustard, cabbage, and mushrooms), Fisherman’s Party (a mix of sautéed scallops, shrimp, squid, and crab claw with vegetables, red pepper, and basil leaves), and Chicken Mango Lovers (chicken and mango with fresh garlic, onions, ginger, roasted chili, hot peppers, water chestnuts, red peppers, and scallions). A surprise is that some dishes are made with brown rice, which is also available as a side order. Owners Payao and Lek Sriweawnetr ran a restaurant in Boston before relocating here, but the couple are originally from Bangkok, where Lek was sous chef for a large hotel restaurant.

But redevelopment plans for its strip mall location put the place out of business two years ago, and so it isn’t included  in the current book. What I didn’t know was that the owners had relocated to new digs in Points East Plaza in Mentor (7329 Mentor Avenue, 440-942-6752). A friend just rediscovered the restaurant there and tells me the  food’s the same and as good as before. Anyone else been there?

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Filed under Restaurants, Updates & Changes