Saturday, April 07, 2007

Amazing Thailand Review

Amazing Thailand
3024 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Amazing Thailand 1248

I walked past Amazing Thailand on Thursday while on my way to Lunds. I wanted to read the signs out front to see when they would be open but the signs were gone. Turns out they were already open, so I walked inside to have a look around. I wasn’t prepared for the somewhat upscale dining experience that Amazing Thailand has to offer. This was clear to me and the staff as I was sporting a thermal long sleeve, ripped jeans, sneakers and a Digital Rebel swinging from my neck.

I’m no stranger to this building because it was formerly a Panera Bread. I asked for a menu and sat down in the same location where I used sip all you can drink $1.50 coffee while accessing free Wi-Fi. I figured I got my moneys worth out of Panera, but could this place live up to its name? Was it really more “amazing” than the other three Thai food places in Uptown?

As I looked around the room I thought they did a nice job transforming the interior into a more upscale restaurant. Dim lighting, big mirrors and a wine bar. You can sit by the windows at one of the many high tops for a more casual dining experience. They also offer more intimate dining towards the back with some walls for added privacy. The outside is a different story. The exterior still resembles a Panera Bread with highly saturated orange bricks and their sign makes me think the circus is coming to town.

As ordered my food I realized that they don’t work with the standard 1-5 spice scale that I’m used to. I told him Beef Pad Thai, spice level medium-hot, to go. My food was ready in 15 minutes just like they said, $12.95 plus tax. When I opened the container I was expecting the usual burst of spicy steam to shoot up my nose and tear my eyeballs but that wasn’t the case at all. There was plenty of steam but not the spicy steam that I’m used to.

The spicy goodness came in a separate container along side the peanuts. As I poured the wet spice and dry peanuts over my Pad Thai, I noticed the peanuts were more finely crushed than other places and I felt like they give you slightly more. As ate the dish I quickly realized it was much drier than I’m used to. Not in a bad way but a lot of Pad Thai dishes have a wet, smooth texture to them. Overall I thought it was very good but not amazing.

I would definitely recommend this place for dining. Especially if you like Thai food because it does taste different than the rest and you might like the change. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are just ordering take out because it is more expensive and its not really geared for that. I don’t think photobloggers passing by on there way to Lunds are their target market. This was clear to me because they didn’t even have a takeout menu.

Pros: Taste different than the other three Thai food places in town. Wide range of seating. Friendly staff. Doesn’t look like Panera bread on the inside. The overall look and feel of the place is more like Chiang Mai Thai than Sawatdee or Tum Rup Thai (I think that’s a good thing).

Cons: A bit more expensive and you don’t get any more food for the price. No fortune cookie (I know its not a Chinese restaurant but everyone loves a fortune cookie). Still looks like Panera Bread on the outside. Where are people supposed to park?

I found another review over at Metblogs from someone who actually ate at the restaurant. Please leave a comment if you've ate there. I'd really like to know what you thought of the place.

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Alexis said...

I've heard great things about this place. I'll definitely have to try it out.

Anonymous said...

If you eat there, instead of giving you a fortune cookie, they give you a deep fried cookie with black sesame seeds.

Bl@ck Coffee said...

@alexis - Let me know what you thought of the place after you go. You can download a PDF of the menu on their website. I'm sure they have some vegetarian goodness in there somewhere. I'm definetely going to try it again. Perhaps a curry dish this time.

@anonymous- Deef fried cookie sounds nice. Thanks for the comment. Thats good to know.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the review! I'm always skeptical of places that call themselves hyperbolic things like "amazing." Kinda sets itself up for disappointment. But good to know it's passable.

Katie said...

Just tried Amazing Thailand out last week and I was definitely more impressed than I thought I would be. The decor is very nice and the food was very good, but mostly I'm happy to have another new restaurant in Uptown that isn't a chain. There are reviews of a couple of specific dishes up on my site,

Bl@ck Coffee said...

@ Katie - Thanks for adding your take on the place. I'm also glad that a chain restaurant didn't replace Panera. Its good for Uptown in general.

Courtney said...

I'm thinking about getting Thai take-out tonight and thinking about which place I want to go to...I was at Amazing Thai a week ago. I was pleasantly surprised by the decor as well. I ate with a large group of friends in the back room, which was somewhat private. Very nice and colorfully designed, with umbrellas on the ceiling.

I ordered Amazing Basil (basically stir fry with rice and choice of meat). I think I ordered 3 stars. It was pretty hot! I like spicyness, too. I'd recommend the dish and the restaurant. It offers a large menu, decent service, and fun atmosphere. (Plus, there's a good happy hour)

Bl@ck Coffee said...

Thanks for the comment courtney. While I'm thinkin of it, I'd like to update everyone on Uptowns current Thai situation. The Sawatdee on 27th and Hennepin is no longer there. However, it is still a thai food place. I think its called Uptown Thai now. I've heard mixed reviews so far and haven't tried it yet myself.

Anonymous said...

Very nice

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