Thai food seems to be a craze in all of the big cities these days, and Nashville is no exception. Seizing on a renewed local passion for refined Asian cuisine, Thai Phooket is a dressed-down noodle house with a real eye for the spicy and delicious family of noodle bowls and soups that people can’t seem to get enough of. “our restaurant may not be the best looking place, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” implores the restaurant owner on his website, noting 35 years of experience cooking Thai food. Well, the success should speak for itself. Thai Phooket opened in 2009, and there are already two more locations: one in Goodlettesville to the north of Nashville, and one in Fresno, California.
The menu shows a pretty fancy variety; it’s got a number of good dishes that run the Parthenon of Southeast Asian favorites, from Vietnamese Pho noodle bowls to the always-delightful Pad Thai to stir-fry, seafood, and curry dishes. The Pad Kra Prao, a Thai stir fry with basil, is great; it’s got plenty of peppers and onions, and that piece of orange adds just a hint of citrus into the mix. You’d think it wouldn’t mesh, but it’s perfect.
The Vietnamese Pho is good. It’s a thin noodle soup packed with bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, and a choice of meat. The beauty of this dish has always been the freshness of the vegetables. These veggies are good, they’re pretty simple, and the soup could use a little seasoning of some kind, but it’s still a pretty good dish. I can see why people like Thai Phooket enough to support several locations opening so quickly. It’s a good hole-in-the-wall noodle house. It’s simple and charming.
So, I think service is good, though other people seem inclined to disagree. I had to wait for my food a little longer than I normally do at Thai food places, and they delivered one dish about 5 minutes before the other dish. That sort of thing bothers some people, but I’ve never really minded. Urbanspoon complaints seem to note inconsistent service, but I will say that for much of the time I was sampling the place, the owner was out talking to people and being very friendly. Personally I find these things charming.
I agree with the owners of this place — don’t judge a book by its cover because the food is worth a visit. Food is always the number one priority and that’s done well. I would say this place checks out as a good dive to drop by if you’re in the area and have an appetite.
- The lunch specials are pretty economical, and I would suggest the Thai and Vietnamese specialties.
- The wait is a little longer than other places, but not so much so that it’s a problem. I like the service though other reviews seem to disagree.
- Also, there are a lot of great vegetarian options.