New Restaurant Review: Thai Tyme on Main Street, Peoria
Updated: Thai Thyme is still open! It was closed for awhile, and many of you may have been wondering if it was still open. I know I was. As this is the most popular post I’ve written, I thought I’d let everyone know. Apparently they had water utility issues which kept them closed for a bit, but they’re back and as delicious and spicy as ever. So again, as of May 18, 2015, Thai Thyme is open!
Boy, we go away from a few months and everything changes. New intersection at Main & University (yes, we’re pretty smug about the fact that we were gone for the whole construction process) and restaurant changes on Main. And apparently Taste of Thai also closed while we were gone, so I guess it’s fortuitous for us that one of the new restaurants on Main, just down from One World, is a Thai restaurant, Thai Tyme.
Cecile’s Back! Joel’s at Camp! Let’s Eat Out!
Yep, that’s pretty much the way it plays out, so we decided to try one of the two new neighborhood restaurants (the other is Chicky Baba, where the Mexican restaurant used to be in Campustown). After checking out the Yelp reviews and discovering that both had good though mixed reviews, mostly related to service, I chose Thai Tyme, because I love Thai food and we don’t have it very often. I’ll have to admit I did find it a little odd having a Thai restaurant open in Thanh Linh’s old spot and just down the street from their new spot. I know Thanh Linh is Vietnamese, but there’s definitely some overlap in options.
We got there around 6:00 on a slow Tuesday evening. There were a couple of other tables occupied, and we were quickly seated. The owner (I think) took our drink orders and quickly returned with them and to take the rest of our order. Cecile ordered a Thai iced tea, which she confirmed was just like the authentic Thai iced teas she’s had before. It’s a clever order as it includes some form of milk in it, which helps tamp down the spiciness in the food.
We decided to split an order of Crab Rangoon for an appetizer. We decided on this as it was a good dish to compare with other restaurants in the area. It’s an order of six (although we got seven, bonus!) and comes with the traditional red sauce of an unnatural color. The rangoon were not the biggest or most packed full I’ve had, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The wrapper is thinner than most others, and you could definitely taste the green onion in the filling, another rarity. They were very good and because of the thin wrapper and modest size, splitting an order did not make me feel full, but more like I had had, well, an appetizer. I’d still rate Thanh Linh’s as the best Crab Rangoon I’ve had, but these were quite good.
The menu is not extensive, but has everything you would expect from a Thai restaurant. Again for comparison purposes, for my main course I went with Pad Thai while Cecile chose a coconut curry with squash, carrots and other vegetables. As you might expect you get a choice of meats, shrimp or tofu, and we both went with the tofu. You also get a choice of spiciness, from 1 -3. We were told that there’s someone who comes in and orders 7 and eats it, but we, being no strangers to spicy foods, think that’s just showing off as you can’t taste the food with that much spice. Regardless, I decided on a 2 while Cecile, her spicy food eating days behind her, went with a 1.
Cecile’s came out first, along with a bowl of rice, and looked delicious; large chunks of vegetables in the curry, with pepper flakes visible. She quickly discovered, and I confirmed, that 1 does not mean no spice, it means a low level of spice. I don’t know if they’ll serve you a zero if you want, but if you can’t take any spice in your food, you better ask them. This is a front of the tongue spiciness, not a back of the mouth, which is easier to take as it builds during your meal. The vegetables in Cecile’s curry, which I was allowed to taste, were delicious. The squash was of a kind we haven’t seen before and the owner wasn’t sure of the name, but it was cooked to perfection, cooked but not mushy so it held its shape and flavor. Yummy.
My Pad Thai followed shortly after, looking like a traditional Pad Thai (sorry for lack of pictures, I’m new to this restaurant reviewing thing and didn’t know I’d write one; plus it would probably annoy Cecile if I started taking pictures of her food). It was also delicious and definitely a step up the spiciness scale. It was interesting as while I enjoy spicy food I’ve found that Pad Thai generally comes mild, so that was new for me.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals, had enough for lunch that next day, and had a nice chat with the owner. Others apparently have had service issues, but we had none of that, so perhaps they’ve worked out the kinks in the system. Service was fast, friendly and not rushed, he even made a point of telling us as he brought the check that we wasn’t trying to rush us and we should take our time, which we did. We had a great time, a great meal, and we’ll definitely be back. With the loss of Taste of Thai, it’s good to see a Thai restaurant take its place, and even better for us that it’s in our neighborhood. Thai Tyme will definitely take its place on our roster of frequented local eateries.