Had lunch with Kandie at Tong's Thai last week (yes, I'm catching up) on Broadway. She'd eaten there once before with her friend, and had been talking about it ever since.
Let's begin with this - it's never good to go into a situation with elevated expectations.
Going in, I could see that they had a very cool patio which I could definitely see hanging out on in slightly warmer weather. But we ate in the main dining room, which was not ostentatiously Asian in a strip mall Chinese food restaurant kind of way, but not exactly clean and modern either. I'll say it wasn't excessively gaudy, but you weren't going to mistake the culture of the restaurant you were in. The wait staff was pleasant and appropriately attentive.
I confess to this, too - that it was one of those days when I wasn't feeling adventurous, so I ordered my old favorite - Pad Thai. And this is where things start to go wrong.
What I was served was a nice noodle dish with a mix of chicken, shrimp, and tofu, with crushed peanuts. With a gingery, sweet sauce that tasted as if it were made with a brown sugar base. Outwardly this dish looked enough like the Pad Thais I have eaten on innumerable occasions and even made myself a few times, but it tasted nothing like them.
Kandie said that it wasn't the same as when she had eaten there before, so I'll take this as a bad day for all.
I pan to go back eventually to give Tong's a second shot, but I can't say I was pleased with this first visit.