Thai restaurants are not common in Northwest Indiana. As a matter of fact, if there is more than one, I would like to know about it, as Thai is my absolute favorite cuisine. Until my husband and I discovered Taste of Thailand in Chesterton, we simply went into Chicago for our Thai fix. Now we head to Chesterton whenever possible.
Taste of Thailand is a family owned, authentic Thai restaurant, comforably decorated in white linen tablecloths, Jade green dishes and authentic artwork from Thailand. The owners pride themselves on keeping in touch with Thailand by returning there every year to keep their menu fresh and genuine. The only thing bad about that is that the restaurant is closed for 2 weeks. The menu is ever changing with seasonal additions and - as the owners say - to keep the regulars from getting in a rut. They do however, keep some dishes around for those who are not quite so adventurous.
We always start our meals there with hot Jasmine tea (they also serve ginger and green teas and a variety of imported spirits) and an appetizer. Though we tend to get the Sampler ($12) - Satay, Thai rolls, Tod Munn, Crips Fried Tofu, Potato Puffs and Potstickers- we never forger to check the specials menu to see what new morsel is being offered. This week, it was Crab Rangoon (I don't check the price here, I just order it) and it was the lightest, fluffiest I have ever had - and I have had a lot - served with a sweet duck sauce.
The entrees encompass all of the Thai standards -Soups, Salads, Curries, Noodles, Fried Rice, Stir Fries - and then some, with the East meats West menu which is geared toward the newbie that prefers to have all food served in more familiar american forms. For soup, I recommend the Tum Kah Kai ($4.50/$7.00) a fresh ginger coconut chicken soup served over jasmine rice that is thai at its best. The Sweet Potato Curry ($8.50), Bangkok Style Pork with Pecans ($9.25), Kao Pad Sapparod (Fried Rice with Pineapple - $9.00), Pad Thai ($9.00) and Thai Barbecued Chicken ($10.00) are all personal favorites of mine. Actually, every new dish becomes a favorite as I have never been disappointed. Unless otherwise specified, all dishes are served with a choice of Pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu.
All of the dessert options are worth the extra calories, but never pass on the sticky sweet rice with mangoes. It is not always offered, but is a must have when it is. The bill is delivered with Thai fortune rolls - similar to a fortune cookie, but way better.
If you are looking for a nice atmosphere, good food and reasonable prices, this rare jewel has all three. Keep in mind they are closed on Mondays, only open for dinner on the weekends, but serve lunch and dinner the rest of the week. I would certainly consider this place for an impressive business lunch.