The area I live in is very small, so it isn’t really known for diverse, ethnic cuisines or variety. Most of the restaurants are local chains – Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Outback, Taco Bell and other fast food places, etc. Nothing really exciting to be honest, unless you’re preference is typical burgers and diner-type fare.
So, I was surprised when I heard about a small Thai place, Pinto Thong Thai, opening up by the Deptford Mall area. At first, I was a bit skeptical about trying out the food because I know that a lot of “ethnic-type” places have come and gone very quickly in our area because of lack of interest and customers. BUT – I was completely blown away today!
A friend of mine actually saw this place while driving in the area and told me a new Thai place had recently opened up and after looking at the menu online, it seemed like a good place to check out. (My friend has yet to go here, but a big thanks to her “scoping out” skills while stuck in traffic. Haha)
Pinto Thong Thai is a real hidden gem and since recently opening up about 3 months ago, they are serving up amazing, and authentic Thai cuisine. I really believe this place is here to stay if they continue cooking the way they do now.
The restaurant is located in a really, small shopping area. I went there for lunch today, for the first time, and out of the maybe 10 or so retail spots available, only 3 or 4 are actually in business. This includes Pinto Thong Thai. So to be honest, if you don’t know about this place already, or someone specifically points it out to you, you’d miss it in a heartbeat!
As I mentioned before, I went there for lunch today. The inside of the place has only 5 or 6 tables but very clean and decorated fairly modern and minimalistic. The waitress that seated us was very friendly and polite. She handed us the lunch menu and then a second menu which had pictures of each dish they served. (Now usually, having a menu full of “pictures” isn’t really the best thing. Didn’t Gordon Ramsey in the show “Kitchen Nightmares” yell at all the restaurants that relied on “picture menus?”) This time, I have to say that having the extra “picture menu” was really helpful because it gave the customer a true visual of how the dish they were considering, looked. Personally, I thought it was a good idea – how many times have you tried a dish at an ethnic restaurant and it was described a certain way, you had an idea of what it “could” be like, but then it looks and tastes the complete opposite of what you envisioned? (Yes – its happened to me on more than 1 occasion.) So this time, there was no room for error. :o)
The food we ordered was nothing short of amazing! I really love Thai food! I just love the use of chili, garlic, lime and basil in their dishes. It just hits all the flavor senses of sweet, spicy, salty and tart in each dish. I also love the variety – even though the ingredients may be similar in many of the dishes, they all taste different and have their own “wow factor” depending on the meat or vegetarian option of choice added. And all of this was present in the dishes I tried today. It was fresh, hot, and really reflected an authentic Thai meal. I literally ate everything on my plate in record time! Like I said – a real, hidden gem.
Here’s what we ordered..
Everything I tried was incredible and flavored perfectly! You have the option of heat for each dish as well – it ranges from mild to extra hot. My recommendation to anyone new to Thai food is to start at medium heat…it’s not spicy or intense, despite using chili. On the contrary – it just has a good, well balanced flavor to “lift” the dish – not make you shed any tears. The real intensity begins when you move up to “hot” & beyond – then you may as well bring some tissues if you’re not used to Thai heat. (I learned the hard way when I ordered “extra hot” Thai food many years ago, thinking it would be the same as my Indian food at home – a big mistake on my part and lots of tears were shed and runny noses! LOL)
Overall – a big thumbs up to Pinto Thong Thai! The food is great, the service was good, and its a cozy little place. This place is definitely going to be my new “go to” spot for lunch/dinner going forward. And by the way – the menu is the same for both lunch and dinner, except the portions are bigger for dinnertime. (The lunch portion was a decent size as well – no skimping, that’s for sure!)
**GLUTEN-FREE and VEGAN Options are also available on the menu.
For more information on this restaurant and the menu, please click on the link below:
If you get a chance to eat here, let me know your thoughts in the comments below OR tag me on IG @cmspiceculture.