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Thai Riffic (cart)

Thai RifficIn a word: A little better than Thai-diocre.

The specs: #0729  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Madison Street Eats.

Latest Thai Riffic news and reviews

We ate the whole menu (except for the fresh OJ): egg rolls, pad thai, curry fried rice, squash curry, lemonade, limeade, and Thai iced tea.
The bill was $27, or $9/person, plus tip.
JM and Skip gave Thai Riffic a B-; Nichole gave Thai Riffic a B (see our grading rubric).

In one of those wacky listy things, we went to both former Africanas back to back. Stalzy's : Africana Restaurant and Lounge :: Thai Riffic : Africana Les Merveilles de Canaan. Nichole picked up some sodas from that guy who's occasionally on the corner of Mifflin & Henry and met Skip & JM at the University Bookstore to buy, basically, the whole menu at Library Mall's Thai food cart.

Cart lunch

It was hot out, so we all got some of Thai Riffic's beverages too. Both the lemonade and limeade were far too sweet, almost syrupy, and we could barely tell them apart, even though they had been fresh-squeezed before our very eyes. A Thai iced tea was closer to standard, and its creamy sweetness doubled as dessert.

The thin egg rolls were simple shredded cabbage & carrot in gummy yet well-done wrappers (maybe from too-cool oil?). At the cart, soy sauce, hot sauce and house sauce (hoisin) were available, as well as chopped peanuts.

Skip's curry fried rice with chicken was very tasty - he loved the use of fresh Thai basil leaves and wished there were more of them. He also felt a lack of vegetables, and detected a heavy sesame-oil flavor on the chicken which sort of conflicted with the curry.

Though the chicken on JM's pad thai appeared to have come from the same steam tray as Skip's had, he didn't notice the sesame flavor as much. The rice noodles were denser than average, but didn't stick together; the chicken ended up a little gummy - but it started strong.

The squash curry was served over rice and came in a thin, possibly chicken-based broth. Big orange chunks of soft-cooked squash and tofu strips were the bulk of the meal, which was jazzed up with red pepper, onion, and more of that delicious, dark, fresh Thai basil, and one of those slippery, seedy green tomato thingies.

Over all, lunch was fine; while Thai food is not specifically handled by any other cart, other southeast Asian cuisine is. Therefore, Thai Riffic probably works best in this specific niche and has more competition the wider you cast your net.

Comments

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That must be mine with the hot sauce in the corner, eh? :)

I hate saying this, because I don't like badmouthing a business, but the last time I went to Thai-riffic, I got sick. It wasn't quite full-blown food poisoning, but I lasted maybe a half an hour before cancelling the rest of my classes for the day and going home to pray to the porcelain god for a few hours. I ate nothing until the evening of the next day and haven't been back to that cart since. I had the squash curry with chicken and it was the first and only meal I had that day.

I think the slippery green seedy tomato things are Thai eggplant, right?

Yes! That's it - thanks, Molly.

I hate to say it, but I had the same experience as Jay. This place gave me food poisoning.

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