BG Eats: Thai Express armed with strong flavors

John Greer



Housed in a former fast food restaurant, Thai Express is an inauspicious-looking operation that serves really appetizing Thai fare. 

Rather than taking orders at the counter, Thai Express now acts as a sit-down restaurant. Their temporary Styrofoam plates have been replaced with more sturdy china.  Lest that take away the fast food appeal, the restaurant keeps the booths and tables bare, and contemporary pop music still hums in the background. 

That ubiquitous national dish, Pad Thai, was available in several different permutations. Opting for the vegetarian version might have seemed like a rather boring route. The meat was not missed. The restaurant’s iteration, a stir-fry of rice noodles and a medley of vegetables, was garnished with crushed peanuts and a very competent take. The noodles were soft and the sauce was sweet without being cloying. 

Thai Express offered a small assortment of condiments to enhance the plate of noodles: lime wedges, chili powder and chili sauce. A shot of lime, coupled with a dash of the chili mixtures, contributed a bright, spicy dimension that rounded out the dish really well.  

The Massaman curry was served with soft, generous cubes of tofu and assorted vegetables. Other than the almost too-large potato chunks, the vegetables were pretty scant. The slightly sweet and tangy sauce became quite good after a drizzle of chili. 

Thai Express may also have the distinction of being the only establishment in Bowling Green to serve Bubble Tea. This popular milk-based beverage is commonly served iced and frothy. 

As is customary, the Bubble Tea at Thai Express came with a comically oversized straw, the purpose of which was to suck up the dark ‘bobas’ — chewy tapioca pearls — at the bottom. The restaurant’s version of green tea did not convey any strong flavor other than sweetness. It was a little one-dimensional. Still, it was an amusing and very refreshing accompaniment to the rest of the meal. 

Since it has become a sit-down restaurant, prices have gotten a little higher. Meals will likely cost at or over ten dollars. But armed with strong flavors and generous portions, Thai Express makes a strong case for a visit.