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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orchid Thai Restaurant, Winter Park, Florida

Gastronomical gratification to one and all!

Tiffany and I utilized a Groupon coupon which was set to expire in about a week.  They're good for 90-days but we've been delaying our first visit to Orchid Thai Restaurant in downtown Winter Park until just now.  We shared a most beautiful morning strolling Park Avenue.  We had to visit Penzey's Spices and The Spice & Tea Exchange for some needed spice cabinet pleasures.  These two excellent spice purveyors are just blocks apart on opposite sides of the same road but each offers its own specialized products.  To be honest, they truly do not compete in their product offerings.  Penzey's is more basic spices with a few blends offered throughout.  The Spice & Tea Exchange specializes in custom blends, leaning more towards the elegant and exotic varieties.  But, lucky for us, each is a spectacular establishment to visit.  Both are filled with delectable delights and friendly staffs.

Orchid Thai Restaurant looking out towards Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL

I, once again, detour from my described blog.  Back to Orchid Thai Restaurant.  We had purchased a $15 for $30 food & drink Groupon. We knew of its existence since it's next door to The Spice & Tea Exchange.  Many times have Tiffany and I walked past wondering how their food might be.  Incidentally, we both adore and love Thai cuisine.  Probably our favorite ethnic dining choice.

Before heading to Park Avenue yesterday I had done some research on Yelp! and Urbanspoon when I googled "Orchid Thai Winter Park".  Overall, this restaurant is given a very favorable review.  Although there were many positive reviews, I was surprised at the less crowning reviews.  To be honest, I saw more complaints than I had expected to see.  Yes, I was reluctant but had already purchased my Groupon.

Now that I have visited and eaten at Orchid Thai Restaurant?  Let me just surmise that the people who dine on Park Avenue and report on Yelp! and Urbanspoon must generally be of an excessively critical nature?  I know, I know... This is a harsh accusation Chucky.  I'm stunned at the general adverse comments made towards Orchid Thai such as "slow", "over priced" and "portion stingy".  I found none to be true on my first (and only) visit.

Green Curry with Tofu (in lieu of chicken), Thai hot

Tiffany an I found it elegantly decorated, aesthetic, having a full menu selection, service terrific, and speed that might be expected for made-from-scratch food.  No sooner had we ordered when I heard the snap, pop, and crackle of a hot wok in the distant kitchen.  We arrived when they opened their doors and were the only patrons when we were served.  I will attest that Orchid Thai Restaurant isn't the place you go to for a quick grab-n-go lunch. Rather, it's where you go for relaxation and to share space with great company.

Pad Thai with Tofu, Thai hot

What did Tiffany and I order besides a Singha ($5) and Chang ($5) beer?  We each ordered a different soup so that we may share.  Tiffany ordered Tom Yum with tofu, Thai hot ($5).  I ordered the Tom Kha Gai with tofu (instead of chicken), Thai hot ($5).  For our entrees we chose Pad Thai with tofu, Thai hot ($14) and Green Curry with tofu, Thai hot ($14).  Pad Thai being a noodle dish with peanut sauce.   Green Curry is diced vegetables in a creamy green curry and coconut sauce served with rice.  As noted by the server when delivered, "Sorry about the color sir. It is normally green in color but the reddish color is due to this being served Thai hot.  It's the chili peppers coloring the dish."  I was impressed with his making note of this anomaly.  If he had said nothing, I would not have been the wiser.

Prices are an excellent value (service, location, ingredients, ambiance, etc.)  Portion sizes were excessively large, if anything, for a lunch portion. Everywhere you look... fresh orchids!  Fresh cut orchids on every table and notice the orchids delivered on the plate of each entree?  Classy, huh?

Yes Orchid Thai Restaurant, Chucky and Tiffany will be back, again and again.  Five stars from the both of us!

Hi-dee hi-dee why-not-check-out-Groupon-in-your-location-ho my friend!


  1. Yum I love thai food, and even not being a vegetarian my favorite type of pad thai has tofu & vegetables, so this looks right up my alley.

    Also reminds me I have not 1 but 3 groupons soon to expire!

  2. That's sorta how Tiffany & I got into this vegetarian lifestyle. Pre-October 2010 we would frequent Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai restaurants and always seemed to choose tofu over chicken, pork, seafood and steak.

    When Vegetarian Awareness Day arrived (October 1st), it really didn't take much effort to try it. I did give up a few things that I soon overcame urges. Such as? Shrimp, crab, fish, and smoked brisket to name a few.

    Today? No. Really don't miss them. I have so many other delicious things to eat and try. It's been an entirely new world of cuisine and flavors for Tiffany and I.

    Thanks for posting and don't allow those Groupons to expire! We still have one remaining for an organic veggie wrap shop in Winter Park. Can't beat a Groupon deal when they roll up around!