- Jessica Elizarraras
- These are hardly “lunch” portions
Lunchtime Snob means three things—good food at decent prices in a timely manner that still gets you back to the office before your boss takes notice. Thai Dee at 5307 Blanco nails all three.
Although the spot has been open for a dozen years or so, it doesn't show its age once you're inside the small space. Wooden tabletops are set throughout the 1,200 square feet that make up the eatery, along with big comfy wooden chairs. The servers don lacy blouses and skirts, and if there's one thing they all agree on it is their goal of getting you out of Thai Dee as fast as humanly possible. Before you know it, a steaming cup of ginger lemongrass soup hits the table with cubes of firm tofu and shredded cabbage. Forget being chatty and catching up—you're here to take in a delicious lunch and get the heck out.
The helping was a fragrant alternative to Tom Kha Gai, which I had been craving, but, alas, there are no soups on the lunch menu. Fret not, I made do with my other Thai go-to, pad woon sen. Again, our meal was served up expediently by our rotating service staff. What arrived at our table were two heaping plates of noodles. All lunch specials—and there is plenty to choose from on the worn and stained menus—are $7.99 with two egg rolls and the aforementioned soup of the day. Combinations of protein, beef, chicken, tofu or shrimp are available for a slight charge.
But back to my plate. Where other Thai joints would have strict lunch-sized portions, Thai Dee throws caution to the wind with their heaping helpings of classics. My pad woon sen, with stir-fried glass noodles, egg and the freshest of Napa cabbage, crunchy carrots, snap peas, bell peppers, onions, bean sprouts and tomato quarters was hearty, especially with the combo beef, chicken and shrimp I sprang for. The pad see ewe my lunch partner in crime ordered was equally tasty and savory with broccoli florets, wide noodles and a thick soy-based sauce.
We happily stuffed our faces and boxed up our leftovers for a Dinnertime Snob while paying our ridiculously low bills. It's easy to see how Thai Dee retains its Best Thai Food in the city title year after year in our Best of San Antonio issue.