As some of you may know, Wichita holds the dubious honor of being one of the top ten cities in the US for fast food restaurants. Yes we are choc full of fast hamburger, chicken, and taco places, but at least we can boast of a place that serves fresh Thai fast food. No, Spangles is not rolling out a new Pad Thai bowl, I’m talking about Sit @ Thai Express(Note: The use of the “@” lets people know this is a trendy and happening place that they should definitely frequent). In order to compete with other fast food joints, Thai Express even has a drive through window. But please do not attempt to eat that steaming bowl of Red Curry on the drive home. Even though it maybe tempting, it will probably end badly for you and your car. Thai Express opened last fall in the old Taco Shop location just east of Oliver and Central. With the new paint job you would have to be colorblind to miss its beautiful fluorescent green exterior.
After changing managers not long after opening, Thai Express has revamped their menu and now everything is made fresh to order. The cozy dining space has a few small tables and ordering is done at the counter. The decor is sparse and modern, but the Happy Halloween doormat was a nice touch I thought. It seemed they were having some climate control issues on the blustery day that we decided to dine there, so perhaps take out is the way to go during extreme climatic events.
Their menu consists of 20 Thai dishes that are displayed along with pictures on the front wall, most are offered with your choice of chicken, beef, or shrimp. Appetizers and a few Thai specialty drinks are also available. The three of us each ordered a different type of curry, I went with my favorite Panang. We also tried out the 3 piece dumpling appetizer. The food came out within a few minutes served in styrofoam to-go boxes minus their lids. Besides the main dish, each meal came with a small egg roll, steamed rice, and sweet dipping sauce.
It was not the best bowl of Panang that I have ever had, I definitely would have liked some Thai basil on the side, but for the quick service and value it was acceptable. The small egg roll was very good and left me wanting several more of them along with the dipping sauce. The dumplings made for a nice light appetizer complete with a tasty filling of some unknown ingredients. The other two people I had lunch with both enjoyed their curry meals.
Thai Express offers a tasty alternative to the typical fried fast food options in the surrounding area. Although it may not be the best Thai food available in the city, it is certainly convenient. With many menu options it is a good place for a quick lunch or dinner during the week.