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Basil Thai Cafe - best thai food in town?

Basil Thai Cafe

Pad Thai

Thai egg rolls

Basil Thai Cafe on Urbanspoon

Basil Thai is a little mom and pop place just off of the loop and 5th street.  It is located in a non-descript strip mall that is mostly hidden from the street.  The restaurant decor is a little lacking, oh there are various thai/asian themed decorations along the wall, but the floor is laminate, the tables and chairs are cheap and you place your order at the counter to be brought out to you. 

The spread: The menu is definitely Thai cuisine.  You can choose from various appetizers to include egg rolls, thai egg rolls, pot stickers, Tom Yum Goong (traditional spicy soup), etc.  The entrees range from fried rice (to include spicy Thai variety), Pad Thai, a variety of noodle dishes, curry dishes, spicy basil meat dishes and a few other Thai stir fry dishes.  You can choose chicken, shrimp and beef in many of the different dishes.  They also have some sweet dessert dishes.  I have tried the regular egg rolls, Thai egg rolls, Kra Paw (spicy stir fry), fried rice and yellow curry.

The verdict: The highlight of the night was the pan fried dumpling (pot stickers), they were crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and were accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce.  Both the Thai egg rolls and regular egg rolls were good and cooked well, they just lacked any bold flavors to stick out on their own.  The fried rice was also very good.  Unfortunately, the dishes I was the most excited about were the most disappointing.  First of all, the chicken used in the Kra paw, the curry, the Pad Thai and the fried rice was all the same - precooked white chicken meat.  The Pad Thai was just ok, they had a little too much sweetness in their sauce for me and there was no spice to it (as indicated on the menu).  There were two stars indicating a "stimulating kick" on the curry and Kra paw, but both barely registered on the ole heat meter for me.  I would put the heat level somewhere between mild Pace picante sauce and medium.  I was expecting some real heat.  The curry was just okay, and just tasted a little watered down.  The Kra paw was also just ok, it was almost as though they were dumbing down the spices for the Tyler palate. 

Edible Tyler Roses: 3.5 out of 5, Because this is the only Thai place in town, I recommend checking it out, but it is mediocre Thai food (still the best in Tyler) and one of the few places you can get almost 'authentic' ethnic food.

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