Last year Simone and I attended a local silent auction where we won a gift certificate to The Thai Bistro Located on 147 Main Street in Waterville, Maine. Almost a year later while cleaning the house I came across the long forgotten coupon. From the outside The Bistro looks a little sketchy , but I have heard great things about the place by many people so in we went. When we got inside I noticed that there were a few tables that hadn't been cleaned yet and a few more tables that had people at them that hadn't eaten or ordered yet.
There were also a few people that were waiting to pay or pick up food. We waited for a minute or two to be seated, but gave up and found ourselves a seat along the wall. A word of caution- dress warm when its cold outside. The dining room is small so if somebody goes in or out of the restaurant you get to experience the joy of Maine weather right along with them. I realized after we sat down that the reason for the dirty tables and impatient patrons was that there was one girl for the entire place. She was ringing up the bills, filling water and other drinks, taking orders, serving food and answering phones. She may have even been the delivery girl but I dared not ask. After three times of running by the table, smiling and apologizing to us saying she would be right back to get our orders - she finally came right back. Simone and I often frequent another Thai eatery in town, so we already knew what our basic order would be. Lots of Sushi stuffed with all kinds of raw fish.. yummy. NOT.
For the appetizer, our choice would be Vegetable Tempura ( hold the green peppers, the second worst food in the world after fish). After filling our water, the (only) waitress went out back to place our order. Based on the wait to just get my water filled I was concerned that i may never see the rest of my meal. But after only two minutes out came my tempura. It looked great. Thinly battered and lightly fried , just as the menu said. It had Broccoli, Onions, Zucchini, and Carrots and was served with A gingered Soy Sauce. The vegetables were cooked perfectly although i missed seeing mushrooms on the tempura plate.
Next up were the Entrees. The always popular Pad Thai with Chicken, and a plate of Chicken Katzu. First up, the Pad Thai. This is a dish that varies depending on where you order it. Sometimes it arrives with a red sweet sauce, sometime with no sauce at all and with all kinds of different combo's of vegetables. Here it is served with the traditional "American Style Thai" red sauce. The rice noodles were sauteed with thin sliced chicken , fresh bean sprouts and eggs, then finished with peanuts. This was not a fancy or complicated dish. The noodles were tender but firm and not sticky with just the right amount of sauce. The bean sprouts were not overcooked which left them a little crunchy and a nice contrast to the rest of the dish. The chicken and egg in the noddles were also both moist and not overcooked. A very good Pad Thai.
The other entree we ordered was the Chicken Katzu. It is a Japanese dish that can be found at most Thai places. The Chicken is coated with crunchy Panko breadcrumbs then deep fried to a nice golden brown and served with a sauce which is made with Ketchup, Soy, Worcestershire Sauce, and other various seasonings. It was sweet and savory and the chicken was again cooked perfectly, sliced thin and then served on a bed of lettuce. This dish also came with a side of Bistro Salad, which was another simple dish of Iceberg lettuce, carrots and a creamy House dressing.
With the two entrees half gone, Simone and I decided to box up the rest of the food and have some Dessert. We choose the Thai Cheesecake. Unfortunately, it had sold out earlier in the night. Again, sold out, was the Fried Ice Cream. So we opted to share the Bananas in a Blanket dessert instead. This turned out to be our good fortune because it was unbelievable. Cubes of banana were folded into a rice paper "blanket" and then deep fried. They are then served with a warm and rich, sweet caramel, chocolate raspberry vanilla sauce. It reminded me of deep fried Bananas Foster.When the Blankets ran out i just finished the sauce with a spoon. It was excellent and i could easily go back just for that one dessert ( although i will not be sharing it).
Overall, after getting over the beginning wait to be serviced, the Thai Bistros food was very good. The dishes were cooked correctly and once ordered ,were served quickly and hot. Although none of the entrees set the Bistro apart from other Thai places in town, i would still go back just for that dessert. Everything considered, I will give the Thai Bistro 3.5 stars. A good meal in Downtown Waterville. ***1/2