Thai Smile 2 is a pleasant little restaurant located on the Northwest side of Muncie, Indiana, and after having a positive dining experience there in September, I was eager to return for more. It helps that it is one of the most vegetarian-friendly spots in Muncie. We met up with my brother Eric and his family and started off sharing some of the appetizers, including the fried tofu with peanut sauce. This was, as advertised, wedges of deep-fried tofu–completely unseasoned, but crispy and well accented with the sauce. I would ask for more sauce, since that is the only flavor going on with this dish, and it is a rather large mound of bland tofu, otherwise.
We also sampled the Steamed Dumplings, which were a minced chicken and shrimp blend in a shu mai style dumpling, served with a lightly spicy soy dipping sauce. They were very tasty, though slightly tougher than most versions, and the best of the appetizers that we sampled.
Harrison ordered the Spicy Green Bean entree with tofu, and it was definitely one of the best dishes of the evening. The beans were lightly crunchy and glazed with a lightly spicy and sweet sauce, and the addition of some pepper flakes from the condiment tray made it really delicious. I had this dish with shrimp back in September, and it was well prepared each time.
Bryce and Cheryl had the Pad Bah-Mee, a noodle dish tossed with a mild sauce, vegetables, and choice of protein. Ian had the spicier, rice noodle-based Pad Kee-Mao, which I tasted and enjoyed. The noodles were chewy-firm and the heat level was good. I will add here that if you like spicy food you really have to adjust it to taste with the condiment tray–I have ordered “level 5″ twice and it is never spicy. They provide a dry, hot pepper seasoning and a soy-based seasoning so that you can adjust to taste at the table. Eric had the Three Flavor Chicken, which I would describe as elevated sweet and sour chicken–a little too sweet for me, but a nice blend of flavors.
I had the Fish Garlic, which was highly recommended by the server. This was very good, with a lightly crispy fillet coated with a highly seasoned garlic sauce. The fish was described as grouper, but based on the flake and the flavor of the bloodline I suspect it was really Basa (Asian catfish). Regardless, I enjoyed the dish and would order it again.
I also had a Thai Iced Tea, which is a sweet, strong tea with a distinctive flavor and a cap of sweetened, condensed milk floating on top. It is always sweet, but the one I was served was really far too sweet. It was cloying.
On the whole, Thai Smile 2 is a place that has some real hits and misses, but if you are willing to look for the hits it is well worth your time. Since almost any of the dishes can be ordered sans meat, it is also a friendly place for vegetarians in the otherwise-sparse Muncie dining scene. The noodle dishes seem consistently good, and on a previous occasion I had some good Tom Ka Kai. Avoid the Fresh Spring Rolls and you can enjoy a nice meal.
Thanks for reading,