Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thai Tina

There's just something special about having a Thai lady make your pad thai. No offense to the hispanic guy at Central Market who switches between pizzas, pasta and pad thai. Tina at Thai Tina makes Thai food. And only Thai food. And enchiladas. No, not really.

So are you looking for Thai food? Where can you find great Thai food? Where else? The north side... Thai Tina is on Henderson, just north of the Trinity and Downtown (hint hint downtowners - you can get here and back quickly).

Despite the exterior and surroundings, the interior is very nice, especially from hole in the wall standards. All the tables comes with cloth napkins and fancy glasses just awaiting the most necessary ingredient in Thai dining - water. This stuff is spicy.

Since I've been twice in the past week, I can give you a pretty good idea of what to eat there. Eat whatever they suggest. They have yet to suggest pad dog or rat satay. Why? Because they don't sell these items.

First, are the shrimp spring rolls. The order comes with eight spring roll bites with a piece of shrimp on top of each. You also get a peanut sauce - image peanut butter but better...no, not with queso. Its a peanut sauce. You know, like at Thai restaurants. Don't make me explain it with more detail. There is another sauce and its also really good. I'm bi-sauceual so I tried them both. The 'bites" you get are huge so don't feel bad if you make a mess eating them. The owner and his wife Tina make very little fun of their patrons.

Second, is the combo platter pad thai. It has another name but its the one in the middle of the noodle section. Don't worry about the $13 price. It will make two meals. It turns out you can get this with different level of spices. I've had both mild and normal. Get the normal. The spice balances the sweet nicely and if you skimp on the spice, you'll be eating a much sweeter meal than Tina dreamt of when making this meal. Do you want Tina to hate you? This was delicious by the way. It comes with chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, bison, goat, yak and possibly koala. I didn't read the menu so I'm not sure. But its awesome. I've had two of these and I'll have a third before you read this. I'm sure in Asia, this is the equivalent of the enchiladas verdes at El Asadero (cures AIDS, remember?).

Thirdly, is the lunch combo. This is a great deal and it counts as healthy because its got some greenery. There are a few lunch combos but my wife got number two. It comes with some chicken satay skewers, fried rice, and four spring rolls, covered in delicious shredded chicken. Chicken satay is a grilled piece of chicken on a skewer and comes with a very delicious sauce. The chicken was tender and well flavored. The spring rolls were very delicious and with the chicken on top this was a very filling meal.

Fourthly, thai thea (tea). I don't know how its spelled but according to Jay, Tina's husband, its made with tea leaves. I think its made with Kahlua. It sort of tastes like chocolate tea with kahlua. Its really good. I'm not sure what it costs but when somebody I don't know asks me if I want a random drink I always say yes. You never know when you'll get something special and wake up in an alley or a bathtub of ice. Fortunately, it was just tea.

To be serious for a moment, I would definitely recommend everybody go here at some point in the next few weeks. They recently opened and we need to show them how much Fort Worth wants them to stay. If you've never had Thai food, don't worry. Just ask somebody up there and they'll help you. Or ask me. I'll make up something. Plus, good news for you lushes - they're getting their liquor license soon. So, you can probably get one of those special thai theas.

On a side note. I hope they make a Thaitini. Not because I want one, but I just think it would be cool to make a martini with fish sauce and a spring roll sticking out as garnish. It would probably taste pretty good after you had a couple special thai theas.

Thanks for the recommendation loyal reader. Thanks for the great Thai, Tina.

Note:  Since this review was posted, Thai Tina has moved to a downtown location in the Embassy Suites at 600 Commerce Street.

Thai Tina's on Urbanspoon

34 comments:

Michael Bourgon said...

How's it compare to other places, like Sweet Basil?

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I haven't been to Sweet Basil yet so I can't compare it to them. But I have been to Sikhay. Sikhay is more of an adventure into another country. Thai Tina's is much cleaner/fancier but its still got a downhome feel.

In other words. I took my wife to Thai Tina's, not Sikhay. As far as food goes - TT's seemed to put a little more focus on presentation which is always nice and I would say the food was fairly equal at both, but I understood the menu at TT's. And I didn't see larb as an option.

Dolly1325 said...

I love reading your blog - its funny and good reviews for real people.

Have you tried Prima Pasta on Granbury and Hulen? Its in an old Dairy Queen. The food is wonderful and they don't have a liquor license so its BYOB.

cdees39 said...

It is much better than Sweet Basil. I love this place!
It is my favorite Thai place in a 30 mile radius.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Dolly, I appreciate that and thank you for reading. I haven't been to Prima Pasta yet but I'll give it a shot. One of my favorite Italian restaurants is in an old Egg Roll House fast food restaurant so we refer to it as the egg roll italian place. And you can't beat a BYOB italian joint. Thanks for the recommendation.

Cdees and Michael, where is Sweet Basil? Is it pretty good?

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

"You are most welcome," says the loyal reader. Isn't it a great place? Thanks for spreading the word!

cdees39 said...

This is the one I was thinking of.

http://www.thesweetbasil.com/

Michael Bourgon said...

Actually, that's not the one I know of. The one I know of is behind Northeast Mall, in a strip center next to an AT&T store.

A coworker said he's been to the original Thai Tina in Watauga, and Sweet Basil is better... but he hasn't been to the downtown FW one.

Michael Bourgon said...

In other news - holy crap Deer Creek BBQ is good. We went Friday.

* (Baby Back Ribs) are daaaamn good.
* Brisket is fine. Not great, good.
* Onion Rings are awesome - I'd compare with Jubilee Cafe (prior to it sucking)
* Potato Salad is superior. It has BACON in it! Plus, well, it's really good.
* Fries appear to be battered. Didn't have any, but they looked good.
* Go go go go go!

Anonymous said...

tina no longer has any affiliation with the wautauga location. she sold out to be on her own in fort worth. please don't judge her by that location. she's been away from there for a while!

also, did you know that Neiman's is revamping the Zodiac room? Not a hole in the wall but it is a fort worth institution and it is easily forgotten by most.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Michael, you've sold me on the BBQ. I'll get there soon. Speaking of battered fries and stretching something to talk about another point - I'll be posting my massive list of places to eat throughout Texas. This has taken a lot of work so please pretend to care.

Is the last anonymous Jay from Thai Tina? If so, thats cool, I just wanted to know.

For the record, the new Thai Tina beats the old Thai Tina because its not in a strip center. Thats just my opinion. But its right.

Anonymous said...

not Jay, just the loyal reader that suggested it in the first place (along with Roy Pope and others!). I met Tina at Thai Tango years ago and have followed her ever since!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if they are open on Sundays?

Thanks for the review! I've been looking for a great Thai place to take my husband to - he's never had it before.

Anonymous said...

She is not Jay, bc I am. And, she does know what's goin on, trust me. She brought a big group to our restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Thank You!

admin said...

We enjoy your site. see ours at fairmountbungalow.blogspot.com

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Fairmount person - there appears to be a problem with that address. Maybe its just me.

Jay, thanks for reading. Everybody I've taken to Thai Tina has really enjoyed the place.

Anonymous 1, thanks for the recommendation. Anonymous 2, I'm not sure, but I bet Jay would be happy to tell you.

PC Doctor said...

Being a huge fan of Sweet Basil, I visited the Watauga location and was less than impressed.

Now that I find Tina's isn't affiliated with that one, I have to get by the FW one.

Interestingly, the people at the Watauga one acted like they were all under the same umbrella when I mentioned it. I even overheard them telling a customer where it was located.

Mr. Jose said...

My wife and I have been to just about every NE Tarrant County Thai restaurant, as well as some in Ft. Worth. We went to Thai Tina's in Watuaga twice - close to the time they first opened. We haven't been to the FW locale yet.

Our favorite is Sea Siam in Keller.

I have a writeup in my blog...

http://regularjoesguide.blogspot.com/

And to FWHITW - you were the inspiration to get me off my butt and get started. You have a great blog here.

Anonymous said...

The Watauga Thai Tina's is still a Thai Tina's, but it is now being operated by friends and family of Tina. I have heard from a few sources that the food has changed since Tina has moved to Fort Worth. This is not uncommon, it happened before when Tina left Thai Tango in Flower Mound. When the main chef and/or owner aren't constantly there Thai Food can easily slip the tracks and end up anywhere between Lao and Mexico, depending on the make-up of the kitchen. I also suspect that Watauga is now trying to cater more to an Asian audience.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Jay, thanks for the update on how the Thai's Tina's left behind have changed. So please, nobody mistake one for the other. If you want to enjoy Tina's food, go to FW. If you want a Mexi-thai experience, go elsewhere.

Regular Joe, it sounds like you're covering the North Tarrant County area plus some more. Wonderful. I'll put up a link for you. Thanks for reading.

Fairmount blog people, I hope you see this, I still can't pull up your site. I would love to see it though.

sarahlmac said...

visited Thai Tina's friday night...best curry pad thai ever! And the sticky mango rice was awesome. The purple rice was a nice tough.

Anonymous said...

Thai Tina's ROCKS! I live in Crestwood, its close and they do take out. It better not close. We love it.

Aggie said...

Thai Tina's is the worst pad thai I've ever had. It was like soup. I've had alot of pad thai, all over, and it's not supposed to be wet. I was highly disappointed. I had a couple of bites and walked out. Gross! Too bad it's getting great reviews, b/c I'd like to like it, but I'll never go back. Best to go to Thai Belknap Cuisine on, duh, Belknap, or Bangkok House on Cherry Lane. Kiki will treat you like a king.. or queen.

Wigwam said...

I love Thai Tina's! I just moved back from NYC where I learned to love Thai food and this place is the absolute best I have had in FTW. They are selling gift certificates this Christmas and have some deals tied in with that - buy $100 worth of gift certs and get a free platter that feeds 6 - 8.

Anonymous said...

The beef is good quality, but the rice is so greasy. There is a pool of grease left on your plate. Not very appetizing.
Probably my biggest issue is the cleanliness of the place. The floors are sticky, the walls have little bits of food stuck to them, and the bathroom needs a good cleaning on a regular basis. The bathroom is also in poor repair with loose tiles on the floor.
The service is good, but the place needs a good cleaning.

13moons said...

This is a fabulous place. We have previously patronized Junsuree on Magnolia, which we did enjoy, but Thai Tina's is amazing. Totally belies the outside of the building and area!! Go there! You won't be sorry. I reviewed it a few days ago in my blog.

Anita

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys, I know everyone has an off day but the balance of good to bad at--http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/13/393995/restaurant/Thai-Tinas-Fort-Worth

--just isn't fair. Try to help if you can. Hole in the Wall is still my favorite!

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I have been a few times recently and I still adamently support Thai Tinas. The Lemongrass Beef or whatever its called is amazing.

Mark said...

hey - I heard Thai Tina's just had a fire. Something about the building owner and arson. Got any scoop??

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Mark, I haven't heard anything about that. If anybody knows anything, please post hte details.

Anonymous said...

hi...i can't tell you all the details, as i don't know them, but my friend and i are frequent patrons at tina's and indeed there was a fire in a side room near the kitchen. arson was definitely suspected and they had to close for one day to repair everything. people were dining when the fire started.

Clay Aaron Clifton said...

THAI TINA's is CLOSED?!! Driving to work today I saw that the building has a "Resturant for Lease" Sign on the side...did they move? I wont be the same.

Anonymous said...

No it's not closed. I called before making the drive after reading this rave review. I duplicated your first visit order but can't honestly say I left with the same impression. Oh well. I usually agree with you but this one was missing that certain something - MEAT. I expect beef in my beef curry. I expected some chicken, beef and pork in my Pad Thai. I did find two shrimp in the order so I won't deny them credit there, I just didn't think the experience was worth the $40+ for two entrees, a shared ap. and water and tip. I won't be driving the 20 miles again.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I think Thai Tina's is moving to the Embassy Suites in Downtown Fort Worth. This is according to an article I read somewhere. If so, great for Tina but boo for us. The out of downtown location with its quirky atmosphere was cool. Hopefully the prices don't rise too much with the move.