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Restaurant Review: Thai Kitchen is an Orono Staple

Grade: A

If you’ve been in the college town of Orono for long enough, you might have stumbled upon the gem that is Thai Kitchen. A small operation nestled in the back of a parking lot off Park Street, Thai Kitchen is strictly takeout. But Thai Kitchen also offers an array of reasonably priced Thai dishes with hearty portions and fast service, so it still fulfills all the needs of any college student in the Orono area with a hankering for some pad thai or curry.

I indulged in a feast of Thai food for Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend and was thoroughly impressed by the speedy delivery, especially considering the two feet of snow that had freshly blanketed the roads. The menu, accessible by an online blog (Google “Thai Kitchen, Orono” and it’s the first result) promotes their daily lunch specials (at a steal of $7.95) and even offers free delivery with no minimum to the Orono area.

You can tab through the appetizers, salads, soups, house specials, fried rice, noodle dishes, curry dishes and stir fries and their dessert and beverage options are listed on the front page. The curry dishes are my personal favorite, which are priced between $11 and $12 (depending on the meat or vegetable options you prefer) and are served with rice. The spiciness is ranked in stars accompanying each option and I opted for the less spicy mango curry with tofu. Not only was it the perfect amount of spice, it was served hot and ready with plenty of add-ons and the mango and coconut milk base was tropically delicious for a cold Maine evening.

My boyfriend decided on the orange chicken, and we split an appetizer of crab rangoon. Both proved to be delectable and our plates were quickly emptied. We also tried the vegetable fried rice with tofu, and although the tofu was lackluster, overall the dish was packed with vegetables and fried egg and was an excellent addition to our meal.

When it comes to desserts and beverages, the Thai iced tea they offer is a delicious Thai delicacy that pairs especially well with spicy food. If you’re looking to try something new, the iced tea is a sweet and creamy option. It is shockingly orange in appearance, which adds to its allure. As for desserts, their options are scarce but tasty nevertheless. I was feeling adventurous so I tacked on sweet sticky rice with custard at the end of my order (it’s just an extra $5). When I first opened it I was taken aback, it’s initial appearance is unsettling, but I was determined and I tried it anyway. It was surprisingly delicious! The custard was sweet and tart and the sticky rice was even sweeter. I wouldn’t get it again but I have to admit I finished it all in one sitting, so if you’re feeling daring I would say go for it.

With a mix of Thai food staples and exotic house specials, Thai Kitchen is a must try for all University of Maine students who like their Thai food sweet and spicy. The service is quick and the food is reasonably priced, and with free delivery to the Orono area it’s easy to justify a quick lunch or an convenient dinner date.

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