Thai Cafe in Stillwater, OK may be a little off the beaten path, but it’s such a great find for delicious Thai cuisine in a small town.
I have eaten at Thai Cafe a million times, and it is one of my favorite restaurants in Stillwater. My friend Mary and I worked together for 6 years, and ate there periodically. She quit and moved back to Austin about a year ago, and our last lunch together was at Thai Cafe. That’s when I realized I never did a post about it. I wrote a post, and joked with Mary that I needed to find a new Thai Cafe lunch partner. Clearly that’s true, because I didn’t eat there again until about a month ago. Michele and I were meeting for lunch, and my pictures from the last post weren’t the best, so this was a perfect opportunity to go back.
Thai Cafe is right near downtown, on one of the side streets. I always thought it was an odd location, because unless you know it’s there, you could very easily miss it. But I don’t know anyone in Stillwater who doesn’t know where Thai Cafe is.
Thai Cafe is a decent-sized restaurant, seating about 100. The seating takes up ¾ of the interior, and forms a U-shape around the kitchen. There are 3 types of seating options: regular tables, booths, and larger family-style tables.
The owner is almost always at Thai Cafe, checking on tables and keeping the staff on their toes. While the service is usually prompt and attentive, there have been a couple of times when our food was very slow to come out. Those were very isolated occasions, when the restaurant was completely full and/or there were large parties ahead of us. The kitchen gets backed up; it happens, and making a scene about it doesn’t do much good.
Thai Cafe is one of the very few restaurants where I almost always get the same thing. Yes, that goes completely against the food blog premise, but I can’t help it. Once I tried the honey sesame chicken that my friend Amber had raved about, and I definitely was NOT a fan of the creaminess. And that’s funny, because I love all of the ingredients. I have tasted bites of other people’s dishes, and do have a couple of other dishes that I enjoy, but I always end up going back to my old standby.
The Thai Cafe menu is pretty substantial, with appetizers, soups/salads, stir fry, chef specials, curry, and fried rice. Most of the menu items come with soup and salad. Thai Cafe also offers this at dinner, which is unique. Wonton soup is by far my favorite, but they don’t offer it, so I always go with egg drop. Michele got the house vegetable soup
I didn’t try any of her soup, but she really likes it
I am a big fan of this egg drop soup. The soup is always scorching hot, and it is very flavorful. I always add pepper on egg drop soup. I’ve also seen people add soy sauce, but soup is already quite salty, so the last thing I need is to add more.
Thai Cafe offers 2 salad dressing options: ginger or peanut. For a long time I always got ginger; then one day I couldn’t decide, and our server recommended the fusion, a mix of both. Sometimes it comes already mixed, other times you get a serving of each. I think it just depends on your server.
The fusion is outstanding, and such a great mix of flavors. I always get salad dressing on the side, so I can control how much I use.
Michele got the Thai style Mongolian beef
The beef is tender, the sauce is very flavorful, and the vegetables are a perfect tender-crisp. I knew Michele really liked it, because she cleared her plate–something she rarely does.
Mary and I always go straight to the stir-fry menu, and we always get the teriyaki. She gets chicken and I do beef. We both get the spice at about level 3 (out of 5), and brown rice. Once or twice they’ve gone overboard on the spice, but usually they get it just right.
This truly is one of my favorite dishes, and that is why it’s so hard to deviate. It always comes out screaming hot, and the meat is incredibly tender and flavorful. There are a lot of peppers & onions, and they are cooked to a perfect tender-crisp. The sauce is thicker than I’ve had at other restaurants, but I am most certainly not complaining because it has a wonderful flavor.
The one thing I wish is that the meals weren’t such big portions. Yes, I know you can get a to-go box and don’t have to eat the whole thing at one sitting. Mary and I always do that, but then end up snacking on it at the office the rest of the afternoon. So by the end of the day we’ve eaten the whole thing.
Thai Cafe will remain one of my top destinations in Stillwater.