Thai Canteen

September 8, 2012

Thai Canteen


As August changes to September, this town buzzes with activity. Swarms of U-Haul vans circle around, carting college kids and their Craig’s List furniture from one apartment to the next. By joining in this yearly ritual and prematurely packing my pots and pans into cardboard boxes (yes, super smart for someone who loves to cook…), I called up a friend when my stomach growled at dinnertime and headed to restaurant #15.


We briefly stood in line at Thai Canteen before placing our order, grabbing the number, and snagging a table beneath the black and white mural wall. After ten minutes, a server delivered our dishes.  


Thai Canteen -- pad gra prow with beef


I chose the pad gra prow (or #7, for those of us with horrible Thai accents) with beef. Served with crisp bell peppers and fresh basil—my favorite herb!—the entrée boasted bold and spicy flavors. Yet the meat was slightly overdone and chewy, and a puddle of the oily brown sauce covered my plate once I finished.


Thai Canteen -- daily special


My friend opted for the daily special, a light curry with bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and chicken. He described the meat as “juicy and tender,” and the crunchy peppers complemented both the chicken and soft white rice. While not hungry enough to finish, he eagerly poured the leftovers into a take-out container for lunch the next day.


Thai Canteen offers a large selection of soups, salads, and entrées, many of which cater to gluten-free and vegetarian diners. Open late nearly every night, they willingly serve starving people after 10 pm once most other restaurants in town close. Although a little heavy-handed with the oil, they still produce flavorful dishes for a decent price.


Thai Canteen


website: click here

Davis wiki: click here

hours: Tues-Sat 11a-2a; Sun-Mon 11a-10p


ordered: pad gra prow (#7) with beef; the daily special of bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and basil in a light curry with chicken

previously ordered: pad priew wan (#9) with tofu or chicken

menu comments: good for vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free! (entrées served with either rice or rice noodles)

get your choice of protein with most dishes

desserts & sweets section only on the chalkboard menu—not online or in their paper menu

etc: selection of hot sauces & peppers in silver bowls next to the water glasses

sometimes wait a long time in line to order

can be noisy inside




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