Baan Thai Sabaidee -- West Chester

I think it’s safe to say that most people passing by this place would never notice it. It sits in a small, partially vacant strip mall on Nields St. behind Laguna Miramare, which most people never notice when they pass by. But on a whim we decided to try it a few nights ago. I was in the mood for a bowl of noodle soup, and our favorite Vietnamese spot in Lancaster (Saigon Cafe), that does such a great job with pho and other noodle soups, seemed just too far to travel to. After checking the menu online, we decided to head for Baan Thai, with our “Plan B” if it just looked weird on the inside, to go next door to the not-so-great Italian place.

It’s really not bad on the inside. Tables are set with fancy-looking damask tablecloths. There are booths and tables, but at 7:00 there were only two booths occupied when we sat down. We shared an order of lettuce wraps and an order of “fresh spring rolls” (as opposed to something else called simply “spring rolls”). The spring rolls were actually what I would have called summer rolls, and they were quite good. The chicken lettuce wraps were served with pickled ginger and hot sauce (maybe sriracha?) and we enjoyed those as well. I ordered what I’d come for – a bowl of roasted pork rice noodle soup with wontons and baby bok choy. The soup didn’t come with any add-on accompaniments, but the server offered to bring a platter of the accompaniments served with their pho – Thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno pepper slices and lime wedges. I’ve got to say, I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and the serving was so large I couldn’t finish it. A great deal for $9.95. For his entree, my husband ordered a dish called Evil Jungle Princess which is described as “boldly spiced chicken sauteed with vegetables medley flavored with exotic spices and herbs.” The server asked him how spicy he’d like it on a scale from 1 to 5, and the result of the “4” he asked for was pretty much what he was hoping for (he likes heat!).

During the time we were there only one other party came in to be seated, but there was a steady stream of people coming in for take-out orders. I’m glad we gave this place a try. We’ll definitely go back to sample other things from the menu.

Maybe when Wegmans opens I will finally decide to take a ride all the way to West Chester for food! This sounds good, and I do love a big bowl of Asian noodle soup.

This place is on the outskirts of the borough, just off Rt. 52 before you get into town. It’s in a different direction than Wegmans, but hey, if you’ve got your Mason-Dixon passport out anyway, you might as well enjoy the journey.

I was making dinner plans with a friend yesterday. She asked if I’d discovered any new BYOs and I told her about Baan Thai. I didn’t feel that it was too soon to return, so we went last night. Once again it was a very enjoyable meal, and unlike my first visit, quite a few tables were occupied last night.

For an appetizer we shared the Ebishumai which is described as “steamed shrimp dumpling topped with fried onion served with soy and ginger sauce.” It was quite good. For our entrees, I had the Thai Basil with Chicken and my friend had Pad Thai Shrimp. Both were nicely prepared and delicious.

Prices are very reasonable and the menu offers quite a selection, including several vegetarian options. I have a feeling this will become one of my regular dining spots.