19 June 2012

FAIL! Minneapolis: Amazing Thailand

Before you read any further, know that it is very easy and satisfying to eat vegan at Amazing Thailand.  You just have to grill your server before ordering.

Also, I like you, so I'll be honest.  If someone who's been vegan for 7 years received a dinner containing fish oil, there's something wrong with the system.

Amazing Thailand
3024 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
(612) 822-5588

Your very first step shall henceforth be to request - nay.  DEMAND a vegan menu.  You deserve to know.  You are also probably wondering why ice cream is on the vegan menu.  Our server was, too.

I'll get to the exciting fail at the end.  Rest assured, each item I show you beforehand will be 100% vegan.  Sit your little but down and read.

I sipped a Coconut Juice for $4. It was a lot of juice - and I really enjoyed the flavor. It's not for everyone; you really have to like the taste of unsweetened coconut. It was refreshingly cold, rich, and almost savory. When things got spicy later in the meal it was soothing on my mouth, much the same way a fire hydrant is soothing to a building that's been torched.

Becca, Matt, and I shared Fried Tofu for $4.49. Any time we see sweet and sour sauce on the menu, resistance is futile. The tofu was warm, crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. As Captain Adventure noted, it's tofu for people who like tofu. Not for those who don't. The sauce was tangy - more sour than sweet, in a good way. It took the tofu from the brink of bland into a taste party.

The spice scale is pretty self-explanatory: it's a 1-5er.*  It's perfect for us Midwesterners who grew up on mac & cheese and mashed potatoes, then decided to broaden our horizons with Indian food as rebellious teens.  If you're anything like me, you've come to enjoy spicy food after building up a tolerance over the last 15 years while deciding whether or not to just commit to buying a bottle of Sriracha, already.  The 3 on Amazing Thailand's scale is perfect for me - it's got enough heat to make my mouth burn, but not enough to overshadow the taste of the dish.

Becca, who is basically me but a dog person, ordered the Amazing Curry for 12 bucks at a spice level of 3.  See all that golden brown sauce in the middle?  That's made out of peanuts, son.  Peanuts and magic.  On most menu items, you can choose between 3 vegan options to go along with the dish: vegetables, mock duck, or tofu.  Becca snagged the mock duck on this one.  Yum. The broccoli was fresh, the mock duck delectable, and the peanut sauce AMAZING.  The peanuts were intact and crunchy.  I think it might have been the best spicy peanut sauce I've ever had.

For dessert, I was feeling daring, so I ignored the server's warning about how sometimes Durian with Sticky Rice ($7) can have a somewhat offensive smell to first-timers.  I was like, "What IS durian?" and the server was all, "It's kind of hard to explain.  It's a fruit."  I should have known.

You know how my coconut juice was weird-tasting but good?  This was weird-tasting.  As in, it tasted like warm unsweetened coconut with a sauteed leek finish.  Um.  The rice was good or something.

However, gentle readers, we now must discuss my dinner. My dinner that had fish oil in it. Allow me to introduce the Pineapple Stir Fry at $12.

So, okay. I didn't know there was a vegan menu. I ordered off the regular one. There was no symbol or little v to indicate which dishes were vegan, so I just ASSUMED that if I ordered a dish with no animal products in the description and chose tofu instead of meat that it would magically come to me in pure vegan form. I mean, what's the point of getting tofu if there's fish oil in the dish?!

Becca and I ate a good portion of the stir fry. It tasted good. But at the end of the meal, when I asked which desserts were vegan, the server brought out the vegan menu. I didn't see the Pineapple Stir Fry on it, so I asked her if something un-vegan was in there. Then the truth came out: there's effing FISH OIL in the stir fry.

Oh, well. There's nothing to be done now. I might as well get over it. The restaurant DID play Kiss from a Rose. Nothing like a throwback to the nineties to distract you from the fish oil sitting in your stomach

Oh, Seal. You understand my pain.

* You gotta say that with yer best Minnesotan accent, dear.

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