WHAT: Thai Terrace
WHERE: 2055 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
PRICE: Around $50 which includes a Singha Beer, 2 “egg” rolls (not made with eggs–vegan), veggie coconut milk soup, tofu Tom Yum soup, veggie Pineapple Lake Curry (originally Pad Thai but the sauce had a fish base), and Veggie Red Curry.
HOW VEGAN IS IT?
We told the waitress know we were vegan and she knew what that meant (definitely a good sign). She let the kitchen know but there was nothing marked “vegan” on the menu. I (Nicole) ordered the Pad Thai and waitress let me know it was not vegan because the pre-made sauce was fish-based.
We found Thai Terrace through the Happy Cow app, which noted the restaurant was attached to a hotel lobby. We found it connected to a Howard Johnson’s in a run down strip mall next to a strip club on Dale Mabry (the neighborhood doesn’t bother us, but we thought you might like to know). We also found other inconsistencies from Happy Cow, detailed in the review below.
We haven’t had Thai since before we moved to Tampa over a year ago, and it was really good to have Thai food again.
The service was quick and the portion sizes were decent. After the appetizer and soup, I took home most of my entrée. The egg roll was one of the best vegan rolls we have had anywhere.
No acceptable outdoor seating. There was one old, rickety table facing Dale Mabry (the restaurant is near Target, Home Depot, and 275, where Dale Mabry is non-stop). The interior decor was mainly wood, like you might find in a 1970’s motel. There was wood-paneled walls, wooden chairs, counter, room divider, window frames and even the ceiling had wood strips. It was a little too much, in my opinion.
Here is the big bad though. Happy Cow gave this four stars. They said Thai Terrace offers vegan choices including ones not listed on the website menu. According to the Happy Cow reviews, the menu explicitly states no chicken broth or fish sauce is used in any of the dishes and oyster sauce is not used in the vegetarian dishes. The reviews said food is made to order so there is a slightly above average wait time, and everything is fresh, including the sauce. Needless to say, we had high expectations and when this wasn’t our experience, we were disappointed. None of those facts are currently true (as of April, 2016).
Happy Cow reviews are, of course, no fault of Thai Terrace, but we did send feedback to Happy Cow, notifying them of the corrections they might want to make. The last time we checked, it looks like Thai Terrace has been removed from Happy Cow (that wasn’t our intention–we just wanted them to update the information appropriately).
Overall, Thai Terrace gets a B- from us. It was disappointing because the information on Happy Cow set our expectations high. This wasn’t Thai Terrace’s fault and we don’t blame them, and our rating was not impacted by that. As far as we could tell, Thai Terrace is vegan-friendly but it is not an intentionally vegan restaurant with legitimate, easily identifiable vegan options on their menu.
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We accept no sponsors or advertisements so we can give honest reviews of everything we try. We are regular customers (but we don’t try to hide what we are doing–they can see us taking notes and pictures). If approached, we will explain ourselves and ask probing questions. We share our thoughts about the experience with each other and then each of us gives a letter grade (A to F). We take the average of both grades to create our rating and share our notes with you!