Friday, July 29, 2011

Taste of Thai - A Local Favorite

Have you ever avoided a restaurant just because the exterior was not appealing to the eye?  When I worked downtown Appleton, I passed a restaurant every day on my morning and afternoon commute.  I absolutely love Thai food but this particular building did not appear to be inviting.

Several friends and colleagues have praised this restaurant and their delicious entrees.  One evening we decided to give it a try. 

Taste of Thai is located downtown Appleton, near the Lawrence University campus.  After experiencing incredible Thai food while visiting Plover (read that review here), my standards were set fairly high. 

The interior reminded me of the restaurant scene from the movie "The Sweetest Thing".  It is your typical Asian restaurant with a full-service bar.  You can also place orders for pick up.  My only criticism would be the awkward chairs that restrict your arm motions; which is kind of important while dining.

We started the meal with "Fresh Salad Rolls" served with a peanut dipping sauce.  It was amazing.  The crunchy texture paired very well with the sweet and salty sauce. 

Our server was extremely prompt, reactive and aware.  I asked her for an entree recommendation.  She suggested the "Volcano Chicken" which is the most popular item on the menu.  The server also explained that orders can be created on a spicy scale; 1 is not very spicy and 5 is the spiciest possible.  I took her suggestion and ordered a level 3.  Next time, I will order at level 4.

I would give Taste of Thai an overall score of 8 (out of 10) on my scale.  If you are looking for authentic ethnic food... check out Taste of Thai.  The service is outstanding and the food is exceptional in flavor. 

We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2011 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Antojito's Mexicanos Restaurant - Authentic Cuisine

I have been living in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin for over a year now.  As a Milwaukee native, I was most familiar with some of the great restaurants in that area.  After relocating, I've had trouble finding a favorite Mexican restaurant to replace the ones I've been missing from my home town.

Jon and I were downtown one evening at a local establishment and asked the bartender if she knew of a good Mexican restaurant in the area.  She immediately shouted in excitement, "You HAVE to try Antojito's. They have the most delicious bean dip and food."  We always appreciate a great suggestion and decided to try Antojito's.

The decor and atmosphere is outstanding.  It is the kind of place that makes you completely forget that you are only in Wisconsin.  It felt like we were being served at a local restaurant in Mexico.  The only downside was parking; which is a little tricky in that particular strip mall.

The meal starts with a free serving of chips and salsa.  Antojito's kicks it up and adds a spicy, thin bean dip.  Everything was delicious.

I ordered a roasted poblano pepper dish that was breaded and filled with squeaky cheese. It was topped with an incredible buttery but thin sauce.  I cannot remember the name of the dish but it was probably one of the most delicious dishes that I've eaten at a Mexican restaurant.  I added the pepper, cheese and sauce to a flour tortilla along with Spanish rice, lettuce and salsa.  Yum!  Very unique and authentic food.

Jon and I both enjoyed a decently sized and priced margarita with spicy salt on the rim.  We both definitely recommend checking out Antojito's.

If you do not live in the Fox Valley, I suggest browsing or adding the app to your smart phone.  It will give you great food recommendation for your local area and is especially helpful when traveling.  Enjoy!

We could all use a hint of more time.
Copyright 2011 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cool Summer Kids Lunch/Dinner Ideas

Ah yes, summer time. The weather is hot, the festivals are in full swing, the veggies are fresh and ... the kids are out of school.  If you are a parent of any school-aged children the phrases "I'm hungry" or "I'm bored" are probably daily vocabulary at your home. 

During the summers when I was a kid, my parents were working full time and came up with fun lunch and activity ideas to keep us entertained.  I have memories of my Mom leaving English Muffin Pizza fixings for us to fix for lunch.  It was one of my all-time favorite lunches as a kid.

Creating healthy and fun meals with your child is great for learning to cook and to be independent.  Pizza doesn't have to be messy or a lot of work.  Plus, what kid doesn't love to eat pizza?

Our "English Muffin Pizza's" included smearing a tablespoon of tomato sauce over the top of the muffin, then adding any toppings that Mom cut up for us; such as green pepper, black olive, cheese, pepperoni, and more.  We would bake or microwave the mini-pizza's until the cheese melted and bubbled.

Here are some other kid-friendly lunch or dinner ideas that they can help you make:

Pita Pocket Pizza
- Stuff the sauce, cheese and toppings into the pita. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  You can also microwave for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

PB&J Stuffed Pita
- Toast the pita before or after applying the peanut butter and favorite flavor of jelly. Stuff it with your kids favorite fruit. Some great choices would be apples, bananas or even strawberries.

Pizza Melt Sandwich
- Much like a tuna melt. One piece of bread.. apply thin layer of sauce, toppings and cheese. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is brown.

Happy cooking!  Have a great weekend.

We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2011 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.