We have spoken a number of times of Little Thai House, the quick and inexpensive Thai restaurant on Dryden Road in Collegetown. They’ve appeared on our Year’s Review lists and our Top Ten lists, they’re featured in our Welcome to Ithaca article, and they keep coming back whenever we talk about affordable lunch options. But somehow we’ve never given Little Thai House their own review until now.
In a city full of Asian restaurants ranging from pretty good to exceptional, and spanning the entire geographic range from Thailand to Japan, this little place in Collegetown has thrived as long as it simply offered great food at a great value. price quality. The majority of customers take advantage of the food that is already ready, but you can also order a variety of dishes from a menu.
When I’m at Little Thai House, I almost always order the basic meal of two entrees served together, choosing a pad thai and another starter, served over white rice. Pad thai is a traditional dish of stir-fried and seasoned rice noodles, simplified here with bean sprouts and eggs, but without the often added shrimp or meat. So it’s vegetarian if you don’t count the fish sauce used in the recipe, and many vegetarians don’t. For me, it’s a deliciously tangy side dish, but it can also make a meal on its own.
What happens next to my pad thai depends on my mood, and the menu changes from time to time with new entries. The red curry chicken and the spicy basil chicken, savory and spicy chicken dishes with lots of veggies and tender and lean chicken strips, are probably the two items I order the most, but not far behind is the eggplant and tofu dish, made with the delicious Chinese Eggplant. I sometimes branch out with spicy Thai green beans or fish with black bean sauce.
What’s really remarkable is that, so far, we’re still under ten dollars including tax. You can get a single small entree for even less, but at around eight dollars for a hearty meal anytime of the day, Little Thai House is the best deal on the market. I splurge sometimes and add a spring roll, although I rarely get this hunger. More often than not, I’ll have Thai iced coffee to enjoy with my food. This strong, thick, smooth and creamy coffee is worth a few dollars more.
I haven’t talked about the items you can order from the menu, such as fresh noodle dishes or soups, but that’s because I never bother to overtake the food that’s already right in front of me. . It’s almost always fresh, and if the pad thai looks like it’s been around for a few hours, I know I can request a new batch. Plan to spend five to ten dollars on lunch and dinner, and toss some in the tip jar. Find Little Thai House at 202 Dryden Road in Collegetown, call them at 607-273-1977 and tell them you’ve heard about it here.
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