I'm a big fan of Thai cuisine. I'm fortunate enough to live near a decent Thai restaurant, so I eat it on a regular basis. Thus I was very pleased to see Orchid Thai Cuisine as one of the Orlando Food Tours stops. I'm always game to try out new places that serve my favorite ethnic foods.
Normally, the food tour groups sit outside to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Park Avenue. However, on the day of my tour, monsoons kept popping up intermittently. That's certainly not unheard of in Florida, but it meant that we'd be eating inside, albeit at a window table that still affording some good opportunities for people watching (or at least the people who didn't know enough to come in out of the rain).
Orchid Thai Cuisine is a small, friendly, unassuming little restaurant. It has a very comprehensive menu. The dishes are authentic, yet not wild or hot enough to scare off more timid diners. The food served up on the tour is all pretty non-threatening for shy diners, yet interesting enough to please those with more adventurous tastes, too.
The appetizer platter had four different items, complete with various sauces. My favorite was the golden purses, which are very much like crab rangoon. However, most restaurants use fake crab meat, while these are made with blue crab and cream cheese. They're especially tasty when dipped into the plum sauce. I'm a big curry fan, so I also loved the curry puffs. They're relatively mild, yet still have enough spice to please the palate.
We also had PEI mussels, and I'll admit up front that I'm not a big mussel fan, but I actually enjoyed these. They're hearty and not at all chewy or stringy. Better yet, they're cooked in a lemongrass ginger broth and shrimp toast to sop it up with. Trust me, you WILL want to sop it up. Top that all off with some sake and you've got a wonderful meal. You can see all the aforementioned items in the slideshow accompanying this article.
By this time in the tour, we'd had two hearty cuisines (pizza and Thai) and two interesting smaller samplings (olive oils/balsamic vinegars and tea), so it was time to move to dessert. Check out the rest of the stops by using the links below: