Thai Pattaya

Today’s article looks at a great place that is more removed from the crush of eateries along The Med. Thai Pattaya located at 810 NW Broad St #262, Murfreesboro, TN in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center. Once again, I am looking at the hot and tasty soups I have come to love so recently. Thai Pattaya offers up traditional dishes with a fantastic setting. Let’s take a look, shall we?

First Impression:

Jackson Heights is an oooold shopping center, and shows a bit of wear and tear. The parking lot is HUGE, and you won’t lack for finding a spot close to the door. The signage is kind of plain, but that belies the charming and austere foyer, where a veritable shrine of curiosities greets the guest. While the exterior of the building is unassuming, the interior is a delight of the senses, steeped in traditional and modern motifs.

If you are interested in walking backwards in time and seeing what the storefronts for this area looked like in the past, be sure to check out the pictures. I’ve got some historical info for you again.

Atmosphere:

Thai Pattaya is in an old building, but it’s not dirty or run down looking. On the contrary, it feels comfortable. Like a pair of old blue jeans with all the tears in just the right places. The décor feels much more genuine than some other places, like personal items that have been loved have found a new home. The floor is an acid-stained concrete that is colorful and evocative of treading upon hidden mysteries. Inviting and exotic are the operative terms here.

Service:

The Missus is a bit more seasoned than I am when it comes to Thai cuisine, but we’re both still relative newcomers to it. Thus we rely on our server to answer questions and help guide us to making the choices we will enjoy. On this visit, out server was pretty new, having only worked for three days I think she said. The Missus can be known for getting creative in her ordering, and so there was a lot of discussion about her selection this evening. After ordering, the owner came out to go over our order and make sure it was exactly what we wanted in a very polite and friendly manner, and returned to make sure it was right after it was brought out. This is what customer service is all about.

Food:

We were in the mood for an appetizer this evening, and I wanted something to provide a bit of balance to my meal to come, so we ordered spring rolls. Some places deep fry theirs, but these were rolled in a thin almost translucent wrap and served with a peanut sauce. The flavor was light, the presentation colorful, and shared it was just enough to prime the pump so to speak.

The Missus ordered Drunken Noodles with Chicken, and the sassy changes she made earlier were to ask for about half the noodles and to substitute more veggies in it. As already noted, they were more than accommodating. I was able to indulge in my customary nibble of her dish, and it was tasty and savory. The chicken was very tender, and the veggies were all bite size…which is something I like to see in a lot of my dishes. The less work I have to put into a dish to get to eating it the more I like it. (Yes, I know that makes me sound old) One of the things I learned in the industry was to make food, where appropriate, as “fork ready” as possible. For example, tomatoes on a salad in wedges that you have to cut up because they are too big. They don’t have to be tiny dices, but thin half-moon slices can give a great aesthetic and facilitate customer enjoyment.

My choice was the Tom Yum, or hot and sour, soup. I wasn’t expecting the presentation on this, but it was a neat surprise. Instead of the large bowls I have been growing accustomed too, a heated tureen was presented along with a ladle and small cup. The soup was to be ladled into the small cup and enjoyed while the remainder stayed warm and covered till more was desired. I think an error on my part may have been in ordering something that should have been a shared experience, with each person having a cup and ladling out their portion, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed a larger bowl and less ladling. Also, the ladle and the tureen were shaped so that it was difficult to reach the bottom of the tureen with the ladle, where some of the heavier elements of the soup resided. It was a neat presentation but a bit of work to make the journey from beginning to end. Still the soup was delicious and nourishing.

Cleanliness:

When it comes to buildings that I know are very old, I make a certain allowances for wear and tear though clean and neat I never compromise on. Old doesn’t have to mean old dirt is acceptable. Thai Pattaya was as clean as a building over 50 years old could be expected to be.

Final thoughts:

Thai Pattaya is a place steeped in charm and friendliness. The food is solid. Arguably, there’s better out there and there is certainly worse. The atmosphere, setting, service, and ability to run into neighbors and friends certainly sells it for me. Particularly the service, as it is the primary reason I eat out. I gotta give Thai Pattaya props on that.

3 out of 5 peace signs! Dig it!

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Make lunch, not war!