Is pad thai becoming like pizza in our collective psyche? I mean, is there such a thing as bad pad thai?
Pad thai has become so common that sometimes it’s hard to figure out what distinguishes one from the other. For me, it’s more about what I don’t like. I don’t like really thick noodles or tough meat. I don’t like a gloppy, saucy texture. I prefer thinner sprouts to big, thick ones.
So I did indeed get lucky the other day when I wandered into Lucky Thai in Gorham. Though the menu had lots of interesting lunch options – thai lad nar, drunken noodle, panang curry, to name a few – I just really felt like pad thai.
I chose a chicken pad thai for $9.75. As a one of the lunch specials, it came with two deep-fried pork dumplings and a cup of soup. The dumplings were nicely fried, not too crunchy but just crispy and still a little doughy. They were plump and full of ground pork. The soup was a clear broth with lots of vegetables, including carrots, broccoli and others. It was light, not the kind of thing that fills you up before the main course.
Which was a good thing, since the pad thai was pretty filling. It came with chunks of chicken, finely crushed peanuts, thin noodles and thin, tender sprouts. There was also some scrambled egg sprinkled in and scallions on top. It had a slightly smoky flavor. If I hadn’t been hankering so strongly for pad thai, I could have saved half for a second lunch. But I didn’t.
There were nearly two dozen lunch specials listed on the Lucky Thai menu. Most of them – if they included chicken, beef or pork – were $9.75 to $10.75. Dishes with shrimp or scallops were a little more and those with fried or fresh tofu were a little less.
There are several noodle dishes on the lunch specials menu, including thai lad nar, which is stir-fried noodles with egg, baby corn and other veggies, and a thick gravy. There’s also pad woon sen – transparent noodles with egg, sprouts and vegetables – and a Thai lo mein.
There are also several fried rice dishes for lunch specials, including ones focusing on curry, pineapple and vegetables. And then there are several curry dishes over rice, and several other less-spicy entrees over rice.
The place also has a kids specials section. For $10, your child can get chicken wings, fried spring rolls, crab rangoon and deep-fried dumplings, or an order of satay chicken. The menu is for those 12 and under.
If you’re looking to go for dinner, things are a little more pricey, but there’s a lot of variety. There are four duck dishes, for example.
Lucky Thai has a pleasant dining room, but its location on Route 25, near the Westbrook line, also makes it a good place to get takeout or lunch on the go.
WHERE: 593 Main St. (Route 25), Gorham
INFO: (207) 839-6999, lucky-thai.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Sunday
WAIT: About five minutes
PARKING: Yes, parking lot
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes