I came across another nice little eatery in that unlikely and unassuming strip mall on East Colonial Drive. We've been here before, at Taka Taka, a Venezuelan restaurant. This time it's Thai Purple Orchid Cafe & Grocery, although the grocery part of it is pretty meager — fewer shelves than many people have in their closets.
And there aren't a lot of tables in the cafe part, either. But the owner will greet you graciously and will even serve you the food. I can say for certain, but she may have been back there cooking it, too.
I had the fish cake appetizer (shown at top), which consisted of six good-sized fritters of the firmly packed fish. The cakes glistened from the frying but did not have an oily taste. The saltiness of the fish was countered by the sweet cucumber salad that accompanied it.
I chose the red curry with beef for my entree. I ordered it medium hot and I found that to be plenty spicy. The curry was a smooth-textured gravy, and the dish included big hunks of onions and crinkle-cut carrots. I appreciated the big mound of white rice to soak up the curry.
With this being mainly a one-person operation, wait times might vary depending on whether other people need to be served. That's OK. Chill, take it easy. Sometime you have to wait for good food.
Thai Purple Orchid Cafe & Grocery is at 9318 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 407-203-3891.