First bite: Thai Lotus Cuisine in Winter Park; have you been?
There's a concentrated grouping of casual restaurants on that corner of Aloma Avenue and Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park. You've got Tex-Mex, Mex, sports bar, Polish/European and 24-hour breakfast.
Now you can add Thai. Thai Lotus has taken over a space that looks as though it was once a sandwich place with a long ordering counter that is unused.
Instead, guests sit at tables and wait for someone to take an order. On a recent lunch visit that was a considerable wait, especially for the only other occupied table in the restaurant. The young couple sitting across the room from me were extraordinarily patient with the man who kept forgetting things they had requested.
The regular menu shows promise, with over 70 appetizer and entree listings that will sound familiar to Thai lovers all over.
The lunch menu was had limited selections and was rather odd -- it seemed to have been copied from a small Chinese restaurant. I had the tom ka gai, a coconut milk based woup with galanga, mushrooms and lime juice with a few chunks of chicken. The soup's broth was thin but the flavors were multilayered.
For my entree I had red curry with beef, which featured a sauce of coconut milk and pepper spices with basil leaves. It also featured chunks of pineapple, which I found annoying. Red curry recipes aren't set in stone and are up for variations, but if you're going to add something as unusual as fruit to a curry recipe it should at least be listed in the menu's description.
Also, a dish called red curry beef should have more than a few slivers of meat. I'm just saying.
But this was just a first visit. Perhaps another -- maybe an evening meal where the menu stays more focused on Thailand -- will show more promise.
In the meantime, have you eaten here? What do you think? Write a comment and let other know.