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.