Thanks to a local restaurant called “Thailicious,” I fell in love with Thai food at first bite.
Thailicious Started a Love Affair
As my family has reminded me on numerous occasions, I was a picky eater as a child,
I didn’t like vegetables. I didn’t like salad. I didn’t like spicy food.
I once fled the dinner table with a mouthful of zucchini because the flavor and texture revolted me so much I thought I might be sick.
I was not proud of that moment and felt terribly guilty for making a scene. I didn’t want to be picky, but I couldn’t help that some foods were simply unpalatable.
As an adult, I became less sensitive to strong flavors, which allowed me to slowly broaden my palate to the spicy, the green, and the unknown.
I became very fond of “Mexican” food in its late 90’s incarnation of sizzling fajitas, bean dip, and chips with questionable salsa. I developed a remarkable tolerance for spicy food and would happily consume chicken wings doused in so-called “nuclear” sauce.
Salad, my old enemy, became something of a friend. OK, maybe it was the kind of friend you meet for lunch a couple of times per year, but still—we had reached a détente.
My aversion to fish without breading swam quietly away.
The more foods I tried, the more foods I wanted to try. I sought out everything I hadn’t tasted before.
Within a couple of years, I sampled “new American”, Vietnamese, Polish, Puerto Rican, Latin BBQ, Cuban, Chinese, and Moroccan cuisine.
However, there was one cuisine that I hadn’t tried. In fact, it was one of the more widely available cuisines in my area, but I hadn’t ventured to sample it yet.
Thai food was a complete mystery. Whereas most of us have a vague idea of certain cuisines (such as Chinese food), I had absolutely zero background knowledge of Thai food. I’d never seen it, never smelled it, and certainly I hadn’t tasted it.
Since this would be my first time trying Thai food, I wanted it to be the best. I gleefully cross-referenced Thai restaurant menus and online reviews like I was decoding the Rosetta Stone before finding my target.
I chose Thailicious, a small Thai restaurant in Longwood, FL, just outside of Orlando.
When I pulled up for an early lunch on a weekday, I was not too surprised by the humble exterior. Many of the non-chain restaurants around Orlando are not fancy.
However, when I walked through the door, I was totally surprised by the interior. Sleek, modern, and elegantly lit, Thailicious had me wishing I’d worn something nicer than my usual jeans and t-shirt.
Thankfully, the host/waiter didn’t bat an eyelash and showed me to my table with smooth panache that would put a much more expensive restaurant to shame.
I had read that the chicken basil rolls were good, so I placed my appetizer order right away.
My meal began with a small but lovely side salad. It worked well as a palate cleanser.
In a few minutes, my plate of chicken basil rolls was placed on the table. The rolls were served with a side of peanut sauce.
They were extremely fresh and savory, a perfect contrast to the sweet peanut dipping sauce.
When my entree arrived, I could smell the scent of the curry as the large white bowl was placed in front of me.
The duck was crispy on the outside, delectably tender and richly flavored throughout. The pineapple curry sauce was studded with peeled grapes, red pepper strips, and whole leaves of Thai basil (similar to sweet basil, but with a spicier kick).
I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything that nearly blew all my synapses like this pineapple curry did.
My visit to Thailicious sent me headlong into an instant love affair with Thai food. Since then, I’ve visited as many local Thai restaurants (and food trucks) as I can get to. This restaurant, in fact, is just around the corner from another Thai restaurant, Thai Delight, that I’ve also written about.
Next time you’re in the Orlando area, stop by Thailicious and treat yourself to a feast. I’ll never forgive you if you don’t try the pineapple curry.
What’s your favorite Thai food?
robin masshole mommy
I haven’t had Thai food in ages! The food at this restaurant looks absolutely amazing. I want to eat here soon!
Foods that I hated as a child has totally change as I grew into adulthood. Guess it is true taste do change. Problem is most people won’t give new foods a chance. Only thing I do not care for is peanut sauce. Not that I don’t like it just isn’t one of ;my favorite dishes.
Kudos to you for stepping outside of your box. As a kid and young adult I was really picky. I’ve really come around, I’ve only had a few Thai dishes but I’m down for trying more.
I tend to be a very picky eater. I’ve only started trying Indian food in recent years. I want to try Thai food and I’m sure I will at one point. When I get the courage! LOL. Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to show this to my friend who lives near Orlando.
These dishes all look so appetizing . So excited to try a few.
That does look good. I have never tried Thai food. It looks great, and a little different from your typical restaurant fare.
All of this food looks SO good! I love Thai food and this just looks outrageous! I have not had some for a while I think I need to go out and have some!
Oh my lawd, thes makes me so hungry! I would love to have even just a plate of salad right now!
Jenn @ EngineerMommy
I love Thai food. It’s one of my favorite cuisines of the world. This restaurant sounds like a fabulous place to dine!
I have only had Thai food a couple of times but they have always been wonderful experiences.
They have so many unique dishes you could never get bored!! I wish this restaurant was closer, I would go and try them for sure.
I really enjoy thai food. I used to stick to pad thai but now I branch out and try different things. Thailicious sounds like a great restaurant.
I don’t have a favorite Thai food but these look amazing. I would love to try any or all of this. It’s so much fun to try new foods.
Hahah your line about the fish without bread swimming away is hilarious! I love Thai food, especially when in Thailand! Their dishes are always full of flavour!
Thailicious sounds like a great place to try Thai food. I love Thai food because of the spiciness of it . I have to admit I never tried duck before but I will have to give it a try now. Thanks for sharing these delicious foods and what sounds like a fantastic Thai food restaurant.
I need to try this restaurant. Like you, I’ve never had Thai food before so I’m a little concerned about the taste but also like you, I’m ready and willing to give it a shot.
Yum, all those dishes look great. I have never tried Thai food at all but really want to give it a try now.
Your pictures are making me hungry! I certainly do love me some Thai food! I could eat it 24/7 minus the peanuts 🙂
How wonderful that you’ve overcome/outgrown childhood beliefs. the world is so much more interesting when open to different cultures verdad? Having said that, Babushka has yet to try Thai, just might be the year I do. BB2U