Portland >Restaurants > Baan-Thai
1924 SW Broadway 2nd Fl, Portland, OR | Directions 9720145.505604 -122.688215
So sad! – This is my first review and I am sad to write it. I have been to the Baan Thai countless number of times and had great food despite the very long wait times. However yesterday my wife, mother in law (from out of town) and I went for dinner and ordered the crispy battered chicken amongst other dishes. It came obviously overcooked and with barely any chicken in the batter. We politely asked for the dish to be returned and either replaced or we reorder. The response from the kitchen was "the dish was correctly cooked and if you don't like what you ordered too bad, either way you have to pay for it." After some discussion the waitress then had the audacity to accuse us of being thieves when we firmly told her we would not pay for the returned dish. "It's Thai culture" we were told however bad service has no culture in my opinion.The manager / owner? never came out to address the problem , she just sent daggers at our table repeatedly for the rest of the meal. With the sour taste in our mouthes from this service our planned dinner of 20 people has been canceled, over a $10 dish. I hope all the bad reviews on this site get the owners to do something about this problem. Businesses do not go under due to one review but they are certainly piling up about the same issue. Business 101, repeat customers are the best customers, take heed.
How Spicy Thai? – Friend and I went to eat Friday night and sat out on the balcony enjoying the early summer. We started with the fried tofu, okay; followed by the seafood salad and panang beef curry. If you love seafood and are starving, get the salad. If you're looking for a smaller meal go for the curry, it has just enough to hold you over! Make sure you ask of the spicy-ness, I love HOT but there levels are a little hotter than most.
Baan Thai - Best in P-Town! – Food: EXCELLENT. Everything is authentic Thai, no exceptions.
Service: Great on some nights; spotty on others.
Atmosphere: Homey, inviting, and nice.
Prices: EXCELLENT. <br>
Best time to eat here: NOT during the dinner rush. Anything but dinner hour (6:30 to 8:30 PM) is great, because it's a tiny kitchen that turns out a lot of food, and sometimes the wait-staff totally forget about you. (Over an hour to get two appetizers on one occasion was not worth it.)
If you're going to eat here, I recommend going at around 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM, or anytime after 8:30 (before close at 10 I think)?
The food: Not one thing on the menu has disappointed me. Beware menu items with ** (two asterisks). Even the most MILD--as in EXTRA mild--is still enough to burn your face off.
Looooooonnnnnnnng Wait, Poor Wait Staff, Average Thai Food – I have been to Baan Thai about 4 or 5 times and have never had a great experience there. It is close to where I work so it is easy, but the last three times have been sub par. The service has always been poor and the food is average. I have had a decent meal a couple times and as someone who loves spicy food their degree of spicy is to another level. To the point where you can't taste the food. I have thrown away two whole dishes because it was too spicy and I ordered medium and mild. My most recent experience was that I waited over an hour for my food and then had to get it to go with not so much as an apology from any of the wait staff.
With so much good Thai in Portland I would definitely look elsewhere!
Best Thai Food in Portland and Cozy, Old fashioned atmosphere – When I first went to Baan Thai, I didn't have an earth-shaking experience, but it was very delightful! The food is some of the best Thai food I have found in Portland, and I recommend it to everyone (pad thai especially). However, be warned that because they are so popular, they get very busy around lunch hours. To avoid waiting while being over-stimulated with the tantalizing aromas, call ahead! Also, unlike other thai places, they make their food very spicy, thus their disclaimer warning whenever one orders medium, expecting typical 'medium spiciness'. I will admit that some of their servers can be a mildly sub par, generally the service is very friendly and accommodating. As is the case with several amazing food establishments, Baan Thai has their quirks and eccentricities that some may view as a negativism, but rest assured, the affordable prices, great food, and comfortable environment makes Baan Thai a great place to have a quick lunch, a quiet dinner, or order out!
THE BEST Thai food, bad customer service. – If this review were based solely on the food, I would have given it a 5 star; but the owners have a lot to learn about customer service and American culture. The Pad Phed is simply the best dish in the world; this is not an exaggeration. They must sprinkle it with an illegal white powder because even after the painful one hour waits, I still keep coming back. I think we can safely establish that they probably have the best Thai food in Portland; but the customer service is, well, absent. When I first started eating there I ordered a papaya salad, after discovering that instead of using papaya they used radish, I tried to bring it back: HA!
Good luck trying to get a refund here. The male owner actually became upset with me. After a 5 min argument about the food, it became clear that I wasn't going to win unless I kicked him in the stomach; so I left. The owner(s) have not fully (and probably never will) assimilated with American (business) culture. I grew up in Asia so I am empathetic, but it is still very unfortunate and unacceptable behavior. The only reason he/she can get away with this is because you won?t find a better Thai restaurant.
I was back a few days later because after looking for other Thai restaurants that had a similar menu, the food just could not compete with Baan Thai. I probably eat there on average, 4 days a week, if not more. I?ve learned to not eat at the restaurant unless I order my food at least 30 minutes in advance. I almost always order to go and give them at least 30 minutes before I come in, to wait about 10 more minutes. This would be the best route to take, why would you want to sit in a cramped room where the walls are painted stale yellow with a ?fuchsia? trim, when you end up leaving an hour and a half later smelling like pork and garlic. Not to mention it is torture waiting for your food on an empty stomach, watching everybody else eat their own food that they patiently waited for.
Delicious curry and -horrible- service – They have the best pineapple curry I've ever tasted, and some of the worst customer service ever. I've been to Baan Thai many times, the service is deathly slow, and some of the waiters are really unpleasant people (I think it is the owners who are so rude, and not hired waiters). Like I said, I've been to Baan Thai countless times, they know me, and yet every time I go in, I have to argue with the waiter over how spicy I want my food. i like -really- spicy curry, but they often refuse to give it to me. I am always told "spicy is too spicy for you!!" One waitress even told me once that I could not order spicy curry because I would CRY. Ridiculous. Another time, they actually put HONEY in my curry (I could taste it clearly), so my curry was sweet, which is so gross to me.
Anyhow... If you have plenty of time and are unphased by rude service, their food is great.
Slow service and dusty cobwebs – I've been to Baan-Thai quite a few times actually. The food isn't what I'd call terrible (although I have gotten the brown, crusty rice from the bottom of the cooker a few times, which I don't care for), but the service and the atmosphere are bad enough to make me look elsewhere. Not all the wait staff are bad, but the chubby Asian dude with the glasses needs to take a course in server etiquette. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a waiter who smirks at me and acts like he's doing me a favor by taking my money. I'm also not very fond of fighting with flies while I eat. And if you check out the walls and ceiling...well, it's just plain nasty. There are dusty cobwebs that look like they've been there since the place opened. I guess cleaning isn't a priority there. Alas, I'm sure business will be just fine as long as PSU is right across the street. Me? I'm off to find greener (and CLEANER) pastures.
Strange Food - Bad Service – I have been to Baan Thai twice now. Both times where for lunch and they seem to get pretty busy at lunch, though I am not sure really why at this point other than location. The first time we waited a fair amount of time to be seated. When we ordered, the waiter asks us how spicy we want our food. My friend said medium and the waiter immediately goes into the long rant about how spicy medium is there, asks her twice if she is sure she wants medium, if she has ever eaten there before, etc. You might have thought with the warning he gave her, the plate was going to come out with a fire truck and EMT team standing by. Of course when I said medium I got pretty such the same quiz and had wondered if I was going to regret it. Well in the end there was no EMT team needed and the fire department could take the day off. It was probably twice as hot as medium would be anywhere else but it was manageable. What was off putting to me was less the spice factor and more the five pounds of hot pepper seeds. There were so many it totally ruined the texture of the dish. The flavor was ok if you could get around the seeds but you couldn?t. That said, it strikes me as ridiculous that they make their heat scale so intense they have to warn you? Why not make medium, medium and hot, hot? Should I have been pleased when I ordered a Thai ?Iced? Tea and it was not completely frozen? The second time was a total fiasco. We waited for 45 minutes for food after ordering and saw other people that came in 15 minutes after we did getting served. At which time we asked politely where our food was and the waiter said he would go check and never came back. 5 minutes later we decided to leave. Told the wait staff and they were all up in arms to the point of being rude. They never said, sorry, or actually admitted they had made a mistake, they just told us if we didn?t want to wait an hour, don?t come at lunch time. They even made a point of charging us for our drinks. Never again Baan Thai!
I am still in shock at the rude service received. – I head out for my lunch hour with my good friend, David. We decide to go to our standby Thai restuarant, Baan Thai near PSU. We get there at 12pm and we're pleased to see that it had yet to get crowded. There were many open tables and we were seated right away. We order and chat while sipping our sweet ice coffee/tea. David comments after 1/2 hr that it is taking a long time, but we were talking so it was no big deal. After 45 minutes, and watching a group of college kids get their food (they were seated about 15 minutes after us) we began to wonder if our order got lost. We ask a waiter (not ours as he has yet to be seen) to check on our meal. After 5 minutes, I tell David, lets just let them know that we have to go, we now only have 10 minutes to get back to the office. I talk to yet again another waitress (still no sign of our original waiter). I tell her that we have been waiting for a really long time and think it is possible that our order was lost, but we have to go as we need to get back to work. She tells yet again another waiter to "check" on our meal. I tell her that it doesn't really matter at this point because we need to leave. Her response "we never forget an order." I also tell her all the customers that were seated after us that are enjoying their thai food. She ignores me and heads back to the kitchen. I tell the owner that we are leaving due to the long wait. He nods. We go to leave, and the owner asks for the $3.50 for the ice tea and coffee. I am shocked, but we pay. As we turn to leave, the waitress says "if you don't want to wait, don't come here at lunch." "I'm sorry, what was that?" thinking I clearly heard wrong. She repeats. WeI walk out in stunned at the rudeness of this waitress and the lack of consideration in general. There were no apologies, no complimentary drinks for the delayed wait, just complete and udder rudeness. Now I have been here before with good service and great food. But that really did me in.
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