Roses are red. Violets are blue. Orchids come in a variety of shades, and wild orchids decorate the Thai countryside. All of this is hopefully enough of a lede to get you to read about my lunch at Thai Orchid.
Thai cuisine can offer a great variety of vegetarian options. Spring rolls can be prepared for vegetarians, and many Thai restaurants offer curry dishes with tofu and vegetables. There are, however, some warnings that vegetarians should be aware of in Thai dining. Thai curries are often made with fish sauce, a salty concoction that adds a savory character to the curry in a Thai dish. Many Thai dishes contain fish sauce, but asking your server to omit the ingredient at the Thai Orchid or other restaurants will usually get you a vegan dining entree.
The lunch menu has few vegetarian options printed for the diner to peruse. However, almost every item on the menu can be prepared vegetarian, with tofu exchanged for the meat and fish sauce excluded. The dinner menu offers more vegetarian selections. I started with the tofu tod, which is deep fried tofu served alongside a seasoned honey peanut sauce. This sauce is sweet and rich, not unlike a Chinese sweet and sour sauce with a crunchier texture because of the crushed peanuts.
Since it was lunch time, the menu lacked veggie options. The server suggested that I order a holy basil chicken vegetarian style. The dish is pictured above. Tofu was substituted for chicken and fish sauce was omitted. The basil provided a great base for the slightly spicy curry, which flavored the tofu nicely. The dish was listed as hot, but medium spicy probably would have been a more apt description.
Thai Orchid does a pretty brisk lunch business. They also offer a 10 percent discount for take-out orders. Get a sense for the place through the pictures below, or stop in to experience Thai Orchid yourself.