Friday, September 4, 2015
Sweet Basil Thai ~ Hurst, Texas
Along with Sea Siam in Keller, we go to Sweet Basil often. These two restaurants are probably the only routine restaurants we have currently going, especially as I try to refocus on this blog. But we're not giving up these two places for it!
Food: Not long after the RJG relocated from Denver to NE Tarrant in 2003, we discovered a place in North Richland Hills called Top Thai. It quickly became our favorite, and remained so until they closed sometime in 2005. To set the stage, my first exposure to Thai food was while in San Francisco on business sometime in the mid 1990s. It was love at first taste, and most of the Thai restaurants I tried on the left coast were of a similar style. Unfortunately Denver seemed a wasteland for Thai food. Oh sure, we had Thai restaurants, but none reminded me of the flavors of Northern California. Then we found Top Thai and that was it! The taste I had remembered so fondly.
--Of all the Thai restaurants in the area, Sweet Basil reminds me most of Top Thai. That is, what I would consider more traditional Thai cooking. Thai style means ground chicken, not cut up chicken breast. Spicy means spicy, not "are you sure?". Thai style means simple ingredients, not stir fried with whatever you can find in the garden. Sure, Sweet Basil has those kind of dishes as well, but you have the authentic option here. And the spice levels here are serious. They say 4 stars is "super spicy" and indeed it really is! I've gone hotter than that in the past, but 4 stars is enough for even the most adamant of fire seekers (which includes me). Though lately I discovered I've been getting it at "6 level", and it's very hot my friends. VERY hot. Oh - what dish am I referring to? That would be Pad Graphow (Thai Style). That's all I ever get. I couldn't even imagine having anything else. It's heaven on a plate.
--Mrs. RJG is far more adventurous than I, and has dug deeper into the menu. She really enjoys their soups, especially the Tom Yum soup with shrimp. Cashew Chicken is another one of her favorite go-to dishes at Sweet Basil. Speaking of shrimp, do not miss their divine Butterfly Shrimp appetizer. They do it better than any of the Southern cooking places. This is my fried food allowance for the entire week, and it's worth it! Reminds me of the old Southern Kitchen in Dallas (who remembers them?)
Drink: At one time, Sweet Basil had beer and wine, but fortunately now it's BYOB. And no corkage fee - so it's savings city! They provide the glasses (and a wine opener if you need it), and you do the rest. How many great bottles of Chardonnay have we devoured here? Who knows, but we've saved a bundle being able to buy them at Goody-Goody rather than here at the restaurant.
Location: Sweet Basil is one of the nicer Thai restaurants in the area. Mood lighting and sleek furniture add a sophisticated ambiance, rather than the usual divey fast food feel. That is, a good place to take a date and have a romantic dinner - or simply a place to take dear friends. Just don't forget to bring your own wine! Sweet Basil is on Melbourne, near Pipeline, tucked into a small strip mall, next to Northeast Mall.
Notes: Sweet Basil has had at least 3 owners since we first visited back in 2005. But the current owner is not only the longest lasting, but by far the best!
Rating: 5.0. Oh yea, this is the REAL DEAL.We've been going here for 10 years now!