Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuk Tuk Thai Grill - DTC

Needing a quick lunch last weekend on a drive home that took us past the Denver Tech Center, we decided to stop in to Tuk Tuk for some always-good Thai food.

Tuk Tuk lies near a very uninteresting shopping center (it's anchored by a giant Microcenter), in a standalone building immediately next to Quincy. The shopping center is just north of I-225, so while Tuk Tuk calls the location a "DTC" restaurant, I would actually consider it to be just north of the Tech Center.

I've been to the location a couple times before during the work week for lunch, and it's consistently been packed with office types looking for a quick, cheap lunch. I imagine with a more visible location it would be even more busy. The building doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside it's very welcoming, with bright lighting and colorful decor. Like Pho Saigon, office workers grabbing a weekday lunch should get there before 11:30 am to avoid a wait.

On the Sunday when my husband and I visited, however, it was nearly empty at lunchtime. During my work week visits, they took customers' orders at a counter up front, and brought food out to the respective tables. But for our quiet Sunday lunch, we were seated at a table and waited on during the meal.

Service has always been fast; this visit was no exception.

We started off with the Summer Rolls appetizer ($4.5):

Summer Rolls
These rice paper wrappers were stuffed with shrimp, chicken, lettuce and carrots, and served with peanut sauce on the side. They were just ok. Some of the lettuce had browned at the edges, and the chicken tasted tough. One bright spot was the peanut sauce; it was spicy and well flavored but not too sweet.

I ordered the Ginger Beef ($8) with brown rice instead of white rice:

Ginger Beef with Brown Rice
This was a solid plate of Thai food, although nothing amazing. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, the sauce was fragrant and had a slight heat, and the beef was well cooked.

And then there was the Panang Curry Chicken ($7.75) that my husband will not stop talking about:
Panang Curry Chicken

The curry had a coconut milk base, and was ordered spiced "hot". It included a variety of fresh, crispy vegetables.

My husband sipped at the curry a bit, tried a few pieces of chicken and vegetables, scooped the sauce over rice and gobbled that up, and then began babbling uncontrollably: This is sooo good. [Pause] Wow. You have to try this. It is just soo good. So good. This is just so good.

And it was.

The spice combination of the curry was perfect and the "hot" spiciness was just the right amount of heat for both of us. The chicken and all the vegetables tasted fresh and well cooked.

I neglected much of my Ginger Beef in favor of helping him out with his amazing curry (I'm nice like that).

Ok, now here's my disclaimer about my Thai food ignorance: there's a lot of things I don't know about food, and there's certainly a lot of things I don't know about Thai food. I can't speak to whether this stuff was authentic, I can only say that it tasted fantastic.

The only bad thing about the curry? If you've noticed from my last few reviews, Mr. Oyster seems to be on a streak of ordering a better meal than me. Yes, the guy who used to think Totino's Pizza was the best thing ever, who became nauseous over the very idea of eating sushi, who didn't know what an artichoke was...this guy now seems to nail down the best dishes at a restaurant with some sort of natural finesse. It is not cool, and it's got to stop.

Very good fast Thai food. Get the curry.

Everyday Dining

 (7 of 10)

Pros: Fast service, outstanding curry
Cons: Summer rolls were very average, slightly pricey


Tuk Tuk Thai Grill Dtc on Urbanspoon


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