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Restaurant Review: Thai Pan Alley

Thai Pan Alley boasts a huge menu and is surprisingly affordable. Read more to see how the rest stacks up.

If you follow this column, you know we’re no strangers to Thai cuisine in and around the Largo area.  This Far-East fare has a special allure that draws you in with a variety of exotic, aromatic spices and overall light fare that straddles that beloved line between healthy and delicious.

Thai Pan Alley on Indian Rocks Beach is one of these Thai eateries sitting amongst some stiff competition around the Largo area.  Serving up an expansive variety of uber-affordable Thai classics with speed and flavor in mind, Thai Pan Alley is definitely a suitable option if you’re craving this particular food, but it’s not quite in the top ranks.

This tiny beachside (like, literally next door to the beach) has an old-world charm likely making it a nice, quick, after-beach stop for locals and tourists alike.

As for the fare, the expanse of the menu is quite impressive for a Thai joint; a rotating soup of the day, seafood, curries, noodles, even duck in some dishes which is a first in this book.

To kick off the meal, classic spring rolls seemed appropriate.  You get two of these big things for under $3 that is great.  Unfortunately, they left a little to be desired.  Seemingly-half fried and a tad bland, the spring rolls were merely stomach filler barely salvaged by an intriguing, spicy duck-like sauce.

Pad Thai noodles are always a great litmus test in comparing fare at Thai restaurants, because, well, any one worth it’s salt will definitely serve this dish.   Hovering under the $8 and loaded with both chicken and shrimp, the bang-for-your-buck factor is definitely strong with this one.

The Pad Thai was well portioned (enough for leftovers here) and competently crafted with the option for tongue-searing spiciness if that’s your thing.  The shrimp/chicken combo was a bit skimpy, but in a $7.95 meal, nothing to really sulk over.

Judging from this trip, the wow factor at Thai Pan Alley wasn’t quite there, but a return visit definitely wouldn’t be out of the question. If anything it’s definitely worth the stop for sheer selection and affordability alone.

Thai Pan Alley is located at 2300 Gulf Blvd. Suite 1 in Indian Rocks Beach. For more information call them at (727) 593-3663. 

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