After three months away from the sunshine state, I have long awaited my Thanksgiving return for a chance to enjoy home cooked meals and taste a new restaurant or two. It’s amazing how refreshing a break from dining hall fare can be for this foodie freshman.
Although I’ve been able to sneak of campus here and there, a recent string of papers, essays, and exams- in addition to cold weather- have limited my ability to get out and find gluten-free friendly restaurants in Baltimore. Taking advantage of a cross town trip to visit friends and run some errands with my mom while back in Orlando, I requested a stop at Sea Thai Restaurant, which has been on my “to-do” list for a while.
Sea Thai annually earns top marks from area newspapers and magazines as one of the city’s top Thai restaurants. I could not wait to see if their fare held up to the hype.
We arrived shortly after they opened at 11 am and were promptly seated by the friendly staff. After getting situated and looking over the menu, I informed our server of my dietary needs and was told that I should stick with the curries (five different options) and/or tom yum soup. As curries and tom yum soup are my favorite Thai dishes, I had no complaints about the limited gluten and dairy free options. The curries and soups come with the choice of meat (chicken, beef, pork), seafood (shrimp, seafood), or vegetarian friendly (tofu, veggies only). On weekdays, Sea Thai has a great lunch special where diners can pick from a list of entrees and get a free appetizer. Seeing this opportunity to try both safe options, I ordered green curry with chicken and tom yum soup with veggies.
Given the blustery, chilly (for Florida) day, the soup proved to be the perfect remedy for the grey skies that dampened the mood. The light broth was aromatic and had a complex flavoring with notes of lemongrass, chili, and lime juice. The accompanying variety of vegetables were cooked to the perfect softness. Although the soup was definitely delicious, I wished I had asked for a more intense spice level as the medium spice level it came with was good, but not enough to satisfy my spice-loving taste buds.
Phase two of the lunch was the green curry, which came loaded with brightly colored vegetables and chicken. The coconut milk-based curry broth was smooth, creamy, and rich, but not heavy at all. This dish was more suited to the medium spice level because it allowed the sweetness of the curry to shine with a hint of subtle spice for contrast. The portion of the dish was perfect as it allowed me to enjoy it in one sitting, but not feel overly stuffed hours later.
Last, but not least was the accompanying brown rice which played a more supportive role to the two main dishes. Not your average brown rice side dish, I liked the whole grain, nutty flavor of the rice which contrasted well with the rich curry sauce.
Sea Thai certainly lived up to my high expectations and I am already awaiting the chance to return and sample more of their curries and a spicier tom yum soup. During the lunch, I sampled my mom’s safe panang curry, which was also very good. Though the drive down Colonial can be a pain, it’s well worth the hassle in my opinion. Our servers were friendly and knowledgeable about what was an was not safe, and made sure to double check with the kitchen before placing my final order.
It feels great to be back in my element, once again charting my way through O-town’s gluten-free options. Though this engagement will be a limited one, this small taste of adventure has me ready to come back and explore over winter break!
Address: 3812 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: My lunch was $7.
Accessibility: Easily wheelchair accessible
Special Features: Order ahead via phone for carry-out or make reservations in advance at 410-494-8424.
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.