Saturday, June 6, 2020

Good Eats: Thai restaurants in East Lansing

September 19, 2014
<p>Laingsburg, Mich., resident Aaron Wekenmen, right, and Williamston, Mich., resident Mike Mitchell eat lunch Sept. 18, 2014, at Thai 102 Degrees, 225 M.A.C. Ave., in East Lansing. Julia Nagy/The State News</p>

Laingsburg, Mich., resident Aaron Wekenmen, right, and Williamston, Mich., resident Mike Mitchell eat lunch Sept. 18, 2014, at Thai 102 Degrees, 225 M.A.C. Ave., in East Lansing. Julia Nagy/The State News

Photo by Julia Nagy | The State News

No Thai!

“I like the noodles. It’s sweet and salty for the most part.” — Landscape design sophomore Yinliang Li

In the heart of Grand River Avenue’s array of food choices is No Thai!, a restaurant that balances sweet, salty and spicy. Oodles of wide, flat and skinny noodles keeps students coming back for more. The restaurant’s take on iced tea is another one of Li’s favorite parts about the restaurant. Thai iced tea is a drink prepared with two simple ingredients: iced tea and milk or cream. Students who choose No Thai! for lunch or dinner get to choose a spice level that ranges from “weak” sauce to something called “the death touch.” The sweet flavors pouring over each type of noodle differ from other Asian cuisine, making this a spot for students like Li to enjoy on their break from classes or work.

Thai 102 Degrees

“If we’re doing Thai food, then we do it here.” ­— Kinesiology junior Susan Boehl

A few degrees of superiority separate Thai 102 Degrees from other Thai restaurants in East Lansing for Boehl. Students love to eat here because of the spice level, but dishes that keep the fire in the kitchen and away from your mouth are readily available. Boehl is a vegetarian and finds no problem getting a hearty and flavorful meal at Thai 102 Degrees. Her usual order is broccoli, tofu and rice. Sitting across from Boehl was electrical engineering senior Phil Beard, who prefers the spice many students love. He also appreciates the quieter atmosphere and fresh, authentic ingredients found at Thai 102 Degrees.

Taste of Thai

“It’s still spicy but it’s not bland. It seems pretty authentic to me.” — Ryan Kraklau, Lansing resident

The friendly staff and authentic refreshments at Taste of Thai are a couple of reasons why Kraklau keeps coming back here. Kraklau works at Foods for Living in East Lansing and is a frequent visitor of the town’s food joints. Other Thai restaurants may load up on spice and lose some of the flavor along the way, but Taste of Thai refrains from spice overload, Kraklau said. The restaurant’s Thai iced tea stands out for Kraklau as his favorite beverage. A little further down Grand River Avenue across from the east side of campus, Taste of Thai is a getaway from the hustle of the downtown area. The restaurant prides itself on serving only real ingredients from Thailand, which could be tasted in the pad thai, Taste of Thai’s best-selling dish.

Thai Princess

“Each grain of rice is covered with flavor. It’s all coated, so every bite is nice.” ­­— Kikyung Kim, MSU graduate student

Driving farther away from campus might bring students closer to authentically cooked Thai food. Thai Princess is located in Okemos, past Meridian Mall. The restaurant is family-owned and their cooks have at least 20 years of experience, according to the restaurant’s website. For graduate student Kikyung Kim, the difference in the Thai food at Thai Princess is in the clean preparation and tasty flavors that don’t overwhelm the palate. Kim ordered Thai basil fried rice, which formed a neat square on the plate. The menu offers classics like crab rangoons, and more exotic flavors like coconut soup and flat noodles with a “black sauce.”

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