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Samantha Schnare

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Posted: June 19, 2017

The martinis aren’t tiny at Orchard Thai in Falmouth

Written by: Samantha Schnare
The purple-lit bar at Orchid Thai in Falmouth draws a crowd of regulars.  Photos by Samantha Schnare

The purple-lit bar at Orchid Thai in Falmouth draws a crowd of regulars.
Photos by Samantha Schnare

It’s a wonderful occurrence when you’re looking for one thing and unexpectedly discover something else. That happened recently when my never-ending search for the perfect Pad Thai led me to a gem of a cocktail bar within a Thai restaurant on Route 1 in Falmouth.

An older crowd of regulars took up most of the seats around the white glass bar, lit up purple, at Orchid Thai, and everyone was on a first name basis with the bartender.

A TV played the Red Sox game, but everyone was too busy chatting with each other to pay attention. It was a bit of a “Cheers” situation, which seemed unusual for the setting.

There are a few beers on draft (Allagash, Sapporo and a rotating seasonal brew), as well as wine by the bottle or the glass, but the cocktail list is where Orchid Thai truly shines.

Old classics like Sex on the Beach ($10, with vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry, orange juice and grenadine) and Sour Appletinis ($11, with Midori, vodka, sour mix and lime) join more exotic concoctions like lychee-tinis and sake-tinis, making for a playful menu that tempts you to pick out another drink before finishing the one in front of you.

The Thai Tea-tini ($10) is a blend of tequila, Albsolut Citron, Cointreau and Thai tea.

The Thai Tea-tini ($10) is a blend of tequila, Albsolut Citron, Cointreau and Thai tea.

Loving Thai iced tea as much as I do, my choice was easy. The Thai Tea-tini ($10), with its blend of tequila, Absolut Citron, Cointreau and a splash of Thai tea, was one of the best and, coincidentally, largest cocktails I’ve had. At first glance, the flavors listed didn’t seem like they would complement each other, but they sure did.

In addition to the beer, wine and cocktail lists, there are a few daily specials available. Geary’s Pale Ale for $3, house margaritas and the aforementioned sake-tini make up the summertime specials menu at Orchid Thai, so be sure to get them while it’s hot.

I was surprised also to see something at the bottom of the drink menu that would appeal to beer drinkers who have a hard time making up their mind. Orchid Thai offers a beer sampler, which comprises four, 8-ounce beers for $14. That adds up to two pints of beer — not too shabby.

The bar at Orchid Thai is a welcome break from the growing summer crowds in Portland. The vibe is quiet but cool, the drinks are creative and delicious, and the demographic is a welcome change from what you’d find at most Old Port watering holes. Becoming a regular here has become one of my more immediate goals, so feel free to head on down and join us for a midweek lychee-tini sometime this summer.

ORCHID THAI

WHERE: 202 Route 1, Falmouth
PHONE: 747-5262
WEBSITE: orchidthaifalmouth.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
AMENITIES: Happy hour specials, swanky interior, friendly and attentive staff, creative cocktails, full food menu, ’90s music, flat-screen TV behind bar
BOTTOM LINE: The bar at Orchid Thai in Falmouth provides a nice respite from the summer crowds in most Portland bars. Head on over and check out the swanky interior, friendly service, unique cocktails and, if you’re up for it, the spicy pad thai.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes

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