Location: SW 3rd and Stark
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
In a bright red trailer with a huge sign that may or may not translate well to the average passerby, a new Thai Cart is making a name for themselves. Thai Tea opened a few weeks ago between SW 2nd and 3rd on Stark, next to Cameron’s books.
When I first saw yet another Thai cart, I wondered if Portland needed more. Approximately 15% of the carts in Portland serve some sort of Thai cuisine. Then I remembered that I was surprised by the options offered by Gin Thai just last year. Thai food isn’t just phad kee mow or basil fried rice. The options are endless and I feel the new carts realize that, so are augmenting their menus to offer us something new and different. Also, you gotta love the unique names for the carts.
The day before I visited Thai Tea, I was over at Happy Grillmore waiting for a sandwich when Kryse, owner and chef was awaiting her order of Crispy Basil Tilapia from the cart across the street. If a cart owner is raving about another cart, you gotta go. I ordered the Crispy Basil Tilapia without thinking. Pan fried lightly breaded tilapia is the base for this dish which is topped with a mixture of sauteed onions, sliced bell peppers and mushrooms in a Thai sauce. All of that is topped with crispy fried basil as if it were done under a broiler. The basil was light and crunchy, cooked in a way I have never seen. The onions had a little caramelization to them and mixed with the sweet flavor of the basil and the tender, light fish, every bite was excellent. There was a little spice from either the Thai sauce or whatever rub was used on the fish which accented everything well. I have yet to see this dish on other Thai carts’ menus and Thai Tea has sold me on tilapia, Thai style. They also have traditional Thai tea.
Thai Tea Clean Food Good Taste is one of the most unique names of a cart in this town. Trust me, the food tastes good, is clean and definitely Thai. Check them out if you’re down of Stark and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Pot Stickers – 6 @ $3.50
- Coconut Shrimp – 6 @ $4.95
Soups – choice of meat: chicken, beef or veggie or tofu
- Tom Yum: onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, galanga root, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and cilantro – $5.95
- Tom Kah: hot and sour soup with onions, mushrooms, galanga root, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, coconut milk – $5.95
Noodles – choice of meat: chicken, beef or veggie or tofu
- Pad Thai: stir fried rice noodles with egg, bean sprouts, onions and ground peanuts with pad Thai sauce – $5.95
- Pad Kee Mao: stir fried wide rice noodle, egg, onion, bell peppers, fresh basil, bean sprouts, carrots – $5.95
- Pad Gai: stir fried wide rice noodles with egg, green onions, lettuce and black pepper – $5.95
- Pineapple Fried Rice: fried rice with curry powder, egg, onions, peas, carrots, raisins, cashew nuts and pineapple – $5.95
- Green Curry Fried Rice: fried rice with egg, basil, bell pepper, bamboo shoots, green curry paste – $5.95
- Many more
- Crispy Basil Tilapia: crispy tilapia with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms in a Thai sauce topped with crispy basil – $7.95
Menu is much larger. See cart for more options and daily specials.
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime