Bangkok Thai Deli

Twin Cities, Minnesota


rating star

This is easily my favorite restaurant on University. A few changes since 2008! They offer tofu and mockduck on many dishes now and the food is clearly labeled in the menu. They are right next door to their original location, still on the north side of the street at Farrington.

One thing that hasn't changed since 2008 -- the spice level! I routinely order my food medium spicy, and I can't handle it here. I have to ask for "mild." (Which is far from mild in my opinion!)

I have enjoyed every single dish I've ever had here. Curries, soups, and stir fries.

rating star

They've moved, down the street to a former Burger King. My favorite University Asian restaurant, and I think I've tried all that have vegan options. Their food is great, and nearly everything has a tofu and mock duck option. I love the curries best! And if you take-out, it's enough for 2-3 lunches. Also offers alacarte handmade Asian treats.

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rating star

This is a tough place to rate. It looks like a slightly-grimy food counter in Bangkok, but one that holds promise of great food. The food certainly looks, tastes and feels authentic which is both a revelation and also a potential nightmare, as it means perhaps the cook didn't honor my request to leave out the fish/oyster sauce and/or shrimp paste. Unfortunately I don't speak Thai and I'm not sure my fears can be assuaged until I get definitive proof that I was eating vegan food. I do know how to say the equivalent of "vegan" in Thai, but somehow I always harbor suspicions when I say it to the nodding waiters. Maybe I'm overly paranoid.

In any case, the food here is super-spicy. It's almost painfully spicy, to be honest, so don't try to be ballsy when asked about how spicy you want a dish. I grew up with Indian food and I found Bangkok Thai Deli's "3" rating (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the spiciest) to be scalding and difficult to eat after five or six bites. I eventually made the dishes edible by spending many minutes carefully removing all the chilis and chili seeds from the dish. My sister-in-law, who's actually FROM India, couldn't handle the spice here.

The green curry was strange as the oil from the coconut milk completed separated in the dish, making the curry look yellow instead of greenish-white. I was told that Thais just spoon out the oil from the coconut milk, which I tried, but found very difficult to do. As a result, the vegetables and tofu seemed to be completely overwhelmed by taste of oil and I was not pleased.

The menu doesn't list the specifically vegetarian/vegan dishes on the menu (tofu isn't even listed as an option to meat), which was a bit of a hassle. Someone has since told me that the "Pad Pak Ruam Mit" with tofu is an ideal dish for vegans and can be trusted to be vegan.

The wait for my food was extremely long at over forty minutes. The place was packed, though, with large families and lots of young children. I was the only non-Thai in the joint, which is a good sign for authenticity. Prices are really cheap with most dishes under $7-8.

Bangkok Thai Deli is hard to find as it's inside an unmarked Asian grocery store. It's easiest to find by its address, so keep on the lookout when you're on the 300 block of University Avenue.

I will give this place another chance because I think it may be a hidden gem. I also think the food quality is usually higher (based on reviews I've read elsewhere) but decreases when the place gets too busy. On a whole the food here is for Thais by Thais.

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