Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thai Papaya

3905 W 96th St Suite 1000
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 334-1482 
This was the Urban Spoon app restaurant chosen by the winner of the first
"Lunch on EAting Indy". @BrandonCarder was the lucky winner. Just a forewarning, I went on a mini Thai food kick, so the next three entries will be all Thai. This will come to a shock to most of my friends, as they are aware of my aversion to Thai food. For some reason, it does not agree with me. Luckily I stepped out of realm of Thai noodles and decided to try the Thai fried rice. I apologize for not trying something different at these restaurants, but I would rather not cause me to "call dinosaurs". (I have a tendency to throw up violently, and @MJSki111 has eloquently referred to it as "calling dinosaurs.") Now I know you are in the mood for some Thai food.

We had been to Thai Papaya during lunch before, but it was during my time with my loaner Blackberry flip phone, so no pictures were taken. The restaurant is located at the Southeast corner of 96th and Michigan, tucked behind the McDonald's. It is very small, no more than 15 table tops. Both times I have been, there have only been two workers, who I can presume are the owners, a husband and wife. I have been told it gets pretty busy during the lunch hour, but our service has been pretty quick. We went at the tail end of the lunch hour, so there were still plates left on the tables. I can only attribute this to lack of wait staff. It is one of those places where you pay at the counter, which we did not know the first time we went there. We kind of just sat around waiting for our bill. The decor is pretty lively with bright colors and fun statues. 

The lunch combo ($6.80) comes with entree and choice of soup, salad, or spring roll. The first time I tried the soup, and I did not care for it. It tasted kind of fishy. There were pieces of cilantro and drops of chili oil on top. My next visit, I opted for the spring roll. It was nothing extraordinary, just thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, and onion. It comes with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. I just enjoyed it more than the soup. For my entree I ordered the Kao Padd Ka Prow. It is fried rice with your choice of protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu), banana peppers, Thai basil, green onions, egg and carrots. Here they level of spiciness is mild, medium, or hot. I went with medium as I prefer spicy food and medium is a good starting point, as most restaurants differ on their gauge of heat. The dish itself is inherently spicy with the banana peppers, and what ever spice they add just enhances the heat. I couldn't actually feel the heat until afterwards. The initial bite is not hot, but it grows as you continue eating. I would call it a healthy burn. The heat is not unbearable, but it is very prevalent. The banana peppers were kind of a conundrum during my second visit. They were sliced in all different sizes. Also, they were different shades of yellow. I had the feeling that they ran out of fresh banana peppers, and switched to the jarred variety. The rest of the veggies are pretty large as well. Even though the green onion has a milder onion flavor, the large pieces are a little much. For protein, I chose chicken both times. It was all white meat chicken, diced into about one inch pieces. The rice itself was kind of greasy. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was a healthy meal, but it was very filling. I would go back again and probably ask them to cook with less banana peppers. By the end, they were overpowering the rest of the dish. 

"EAting is not merely a material pleasure. EAting well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale." -Elsa Schiaparelli

Thai Papaya on Urbanspoon

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