“Louis dish beef“ is served during Thai Bistro’s lunch buffet and is available on its regular menu. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
Kids 7-12 can eat Thai Bistro’s lunch time buffet for $10. 95. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
Tilapia is prepared in a red curry sauce for Asian Bistro’s lunchtime buffet in Medford. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
A plate from Thai Bistro’s lunch buffet includes, from top left, spicy catfish, sweet and sour tofu, tempura vegetables and chicken yakisoba. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
Desserts are included in Thai Bistro’s lunch buffet in Medford. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
Aquariums are part of Thai Bistro’s decor within Medford. [Sarah Lemon/Mail Tribune]
Medford restaurant serves all-you-can-eat weekday lunch
The cost of restaurant food that once seemed affordable takeout or family fare has caused me to reconsider convenience versus value.
Pizza, sushi, Mexican and Thailänder cuisine all have higher price tags — like so many other products and services — since the coronavirus pandemic. And they should. But that will also means I probably shouldn’t eat them as often.
Significant savings still reside, however , in some local lunch buffets. And Medford’s Thai Bistro is near the top of my list. A recent lunch with my son allowed for sampling a half-dozen dishes, plus appetizers plus desserts, for less than the cost of two regular entrees.
Thai Bistro has long occupied the top tier associated with pricing with regard to Thai food in Medford. But the cafe founded in 1999 by Sandy Buakhieo offers enjoyed a loyal following, even during the pandemic’s pivot to takeout only. We heard several months ago the dining room on Stevens Street had reopened and planned a visit.
Unsure of the status of Thai Bistro’s popular lunch time buffet, I actually felt like I’d arrived late to the party on a recent weekday. The expansive dining area hosted numerous customers, in groups large and small, both for the buffet plus regular menus.
More interested in Asian Bistro’s fish tanks than its hot line, the son brightened at the mention of beef and the sight associated with cookies and other desserts at the buffet’s far end. Because the seats nearest the aquariums were taken, we chose a booth with a straight path to the food.
Affording all you can eat weekdays from 11 the. m. to 2: 30 p. m., the buffet costs $15. 95 for adults, $10. ninety five for ages 7-12, $7. 50 for ages 3-6 and is complimentary for kids 2 and younger.
Variety was weighted slightly toward vegetarian and seafood dishes on the day we visited. I eagerly spooned sweet and bitter tofu and “vegetable delight” over a hearty helping of fried rice, taking smaller amounts of hot and spicy catfish plus red curry tilapia. A fish lover, I’m choosy about species, particularly those that are farmed.
My son scooped up some fried rice and eyed the vegetables left in the tray labeled “Louis dish beef. ” The particular host experienced assured us the hot line was being refilled when we walked in, and I told our son to wait a few more minutes until a fresh batch associated with beef arrived.
Because we ended up waiting about 20 minutes, I allowed him to pick out a cookie plus brownie and take yet another gander in the dining room’s aquatic life. My take on the finned specimens ready for consumption was surprisingly favorable.
The tilapia, which I often find muddy-tasting, was the cleanest I can recall sample in a local restaurant. The red curry spices — studded with bell peppers plus tomato — revealed spot-on spice that tempered the particular fish’s inherent flavor without obscuring it.
Whereas the large tilapia fillet was tender and flaky, the smaller strips of catfish had a chewier but pleasant texture. A light coating soaked up the fish’s sauce, which conveyed just enough heat and convinced me personally to go back for another couple of pieces.
I only wish I had been able to sample the tempura vegetables right out of the fryer. The onion ring, mushroom half plus wedge of zucchini We selected weren’t as delicately battered as some versions associated with tempura but no doubt would be at their peak piping hot.
A better bet was your fried spring roll, the wrapper even now flaky despite the steam-tray stint. I enjoyed it alongside a cup of the day’s soup, chicken glass noodle, in which leafy greens were more apparent than poultry. Chicken likewise took the back seat to vegetables in the yakisoba.
The meat dish finally replenished, my son made tracks for that buffet, and am reasoned I could manage a small taste. Admonishing him in order to ladle some vegetables with the meat, I actually countered his carnivorous tendencies by seeking out vibrant snow peas, crunchy water chestnuts, toothsome baby corn and shiitake mushrooms, enriched having a generous addition of whole cashews. A straightforward stir-fry in a mild savory sauce, the dish has been delicious directly from the kitchen.
I was too stuffed even for a palate cleansing salad, appointed with thick slices of cucumber plus wedges associated with tomato together with cubes of melon. My son praised the sweets while I took a single obligatory bite of deep-fried, coconut-crusted banana, another item best loved straight from its oil bath.
Those preferring to order off Thai Bistro’s regular lunch menu can expect prices from $13. 95 regarding meat or tofu to $16. 95 for sea food. Among my favorite entrees, crispy fried seafood and roast duck cost $13. ninety five and $15. 95, respectively.
By comparison, the particular chef’s special roast duck in wine sauce costs $26. 95 on the Thailänder Bistro dinner menu. Acknowledging lunch portions are smaller sized, the menus states that will both lunch time and dinner are offered all day.
Located at 535 Stevens St ., Thai Dining area is open from 11 a. meters. to 8 p. michael. weekdays, through 2 in order to 8 p. m. Saturday. See thaibistroonline. com or even call 541-772-6200.
Reach features editor Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4494 or [email protected] com