Thai Delight–Edmond, OK

Thai Delight
3409 S. Broadway
Edmond, OK
(405) 513-8881
Thai Delight

Thai Delight in Edmond


My first meal at Thai Delight was in the summer of 2016, and I really thought this was the best lunch experience I had all year. Thai food ranks high among my favorite cuisines, so this had something to do with it. However, even among the Thai and other Asian cuisines which I really enjoy, the lunch I had at Thai Delight stood out as one of the best in terms of flavor and probably the best in terms of the overall experience.

My second visit was in 2020, when I decided to begin exploring the menu to try other dishes. This time the flavor of the dish was not quite as memorable, but it was still one of the best I have found in the OKC metro and the overall experience was excellent as well. My conclusion, though, is that Thai Delight may be equal in flavor and quality to the long running Thai Palace in Edmond, my favorite Thai restaurant in the OKC metro until it closed. Thai Delight has a small menu compared to the one Thai Palace had, but I am definitely a fan of the way Thai Delight prepares the food.

The sushi menu at Thai Delight is much larger than the Thai menu, and I am not sure why they are doing both cuisines. I confirmed with the employees that they have Thai cooks (from Thailand) and that this is definitely a Thai restaurant, but they do have sushi as well.

The restaurant is located in a shopping complex at the southwest corner of 33rd St. and Broadway in Edmond. I would call the complex upscale, but for some reason they have raised the level of all the stores up a half flight of stairs. After several visits to this restaurant and Pho Bulous next door (as well as an Indian restaurant which used to be in the same center) I finally found a ramp on the north side of the building to give access to anyone who does not want to use the stairs. It is located at the north end of Charleston’s Restaurant (at the opposite end as Thai Delight) but it will work for getting to all the businesses in the center.

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger on the lunch menu

Fresh Ginger was one of the options on the lunch menu, but was something I wanted to try and would have ordered anyway even if I had to get it from the dinner choices. Overall the restaurant has a better selection of lunch choices than most of the other Thai restaurants I have visited. It is not so much that they have a lot of choices, but they have the ones that I consider to be the better choices available in Thai restaurants.

The outstanding features of the fresh ginger were a vibrant flavor and the fact that it was not too sweet. Some other restaurants in OKC do have good versions of this dish, but I had such a good experience at Thai Delight that this has to be near the top of the list. I ordered it with tofu (which I thought was excellent). One thing I liked was the ratio of tofu they had to other things that I consider to be “filler” (onion, bell pepper, etc.). The sauce was quite good as well, and contributed greatly to the overall enjoyment of the dish.

Basil

Spicy basil

Spicy basil from the lunch menu

Spicy Basil (listed as Basil on the to-go menu) at first did not wow me, but I asked for spicy fish sauce (prik nam pla) which raised the dish to one of the best I have had in the Oklahoma City area. This indicated that it had a very good underlying flavor but it just needed to be spicier (the dish comes at a default 3-star spice level but the waitress suggested that next time I should order it at 4 or 5). Actually I liked it just fine the way it was with the extra fish sauce and chile, and I would not have changed anything about the way the dish was prepared. The waitress said it was already made with fish sauce but what I added just intensified the flavor.

The vegetables on this dish were fresh and a little crunchy. Ingredients such as the carrots and green beans actually had a good flavor (not something I say often about carrots).

Salad

Salad

Salad with ginger dressing

The Salad was also very good, but even better because it was free. I found the ginger dressing to have a good flavor, but you can also choose the regular dressing or get one of the two soups that are available (but I do not have a list of these).

A spring roll also comes with the lunch special (and this was one of the better spring rolls I have had).

Thai Tea
I tend to put Thai tea into one of two categories–ones I like and ones that are disappointing. The one here was the former, so I was happy. However, I also liked it more than most.

Lunch
Thai Delight has 17 lunch specials for $7.95, and there is a wide choice of items including basil, curry, cashew, ginger, eggplant, broccoli, and pad thai (each has a choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, or veggie).  There are also a couple of chicken dishes (my waitress said the spicy bamboo chicken was one of her favorite dishes here). There are also fish choices for $8.95 and duck for $11.95. I have to say that I was also impressed that the prices were the same in 2020 as they were when I made my first visit in 2016.

Japanese box lunch and sushi specials are also available for lunch.

Dinner
The Thai menu is not quite as much of a bargain for dinner, but they do have quite a good selection of items. These include additional types of curry not available at lunch such as Panang, Massaman, and pineapple.

The bulk of the Japanese menu seems to be sushi, but it is mostly rolls with a small selection of a la carte sushi/sashimi. There are also Japanese dinners such as tempura, kutsu, and teriyaki.

Other Details
I do not know if the restaurant is completely free of MSG, but I have not noticed that my food has had any.

The dining room was very large and comfortable (this is not the main reason I find this restaurant to be an enjoyable experience but it is part of it).

The service at lunch seems to be highly efficient for getting orders out quickly (something I noticed on both of my visits).

I was able to have some good conversations and ask some questions to the staff after the lunch crowd died down. One of the things I learned is that Thai cooks prepare the Thai food (one person for the curries and one for the stir fried dishes). The style of the food is from the Bangkok area, but the kao soi (egg noodles with yellow curry) is northern style. The bamboo chicken which I previously mentioned has a chile paste which is not made with coconut milk, and is this restaurant’s version of pad prik khing sauce.

I would give the tip to others that for many dishes the prik nam pla (spicy fish sauce) condiment they will give you seems to provide added flavor or to bring out the flavor that is already there (depending on which way you look at it).

I originally thought this restaurant had another location (also called Thai Delight) in Norman, however I found out that restaurant is owned by the same extended family but does not necessarily have the same food.

Conclusions
The Thai food here is the real deal, but they just do not have as many dishes on the menu as most restaurants that have a similar quality. The people who prepare the food are from Thailand, something I already pretty much figured out just from tasting the food. Many Thai restaurants in Oklahoma City have very good food, but I have to say that Thai Delight is one of my favorites.

I don’t know anything about the sushi here, except to say that they have quite a large variety of it.


RATING: 26

Cuisine: Thai & Sushi
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily (closed from 3 to 4:30 pm)
Accessible: Yes (look for the ramp on the north side of Charleston’s Restaurant)
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Jan. 23, 2020

Number of Visits: 2

Best Items: Fresh Ginger, Spicy Basil, Thai Tea

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Fresh Ginger
star 5 Spicy Basil
star 5 Salad
star 5 Thai Tea

Some Restaurants to Explore Along Historic Route 66

U.S. Highway 66 extended from Chicago to Los Angeles, and in its heyday was one of the busiest highways in the country. With a renewed interest by many in exploring “The Mother Road,” restaurants along the historic route are increasingly acknowledging the fact that interest in Route 66 can be a factor in bringing customers to them. I thought it would be interesting to make a list of places along the roadway that I have highlighted in my blog as well as on my earlier web sites. I do not purposely go to restaurants because they are on Route 66, but I find that this is where many of the places are located that have interesting food.

U.S. Highway 66 was decommissioned on June 27, 1985, and no longer exists as an officially designated highway. There are many signs showing the route, though, and state and local governments have done their part in commemorating the historic highway. Google Maps also designates the road, although I think some guide books and web sites have more detailed information about exactly where the route was located.

The route also changed over time. An example of this is in Oklahoma City where Route 66 once passed by the State Capitol but later was built as an expressway in the northern part of the city (this route was later re-designated as part of Interstate 44). My article is mainly focused on the most recent route with some mention of the older ones.

Some restaurants have been in operation at the same location since the time that the actual U.S. 66 was located in front of their business. Others try to recreate the types of restaurants that were predominant during the 1960’s (the heyday of Route 66 before the Interstates began to divert traffic away from the old highway). This can be anything from the food (diners, etc.) to the decor (large booths, etc.). Some restaurants are completely modern but pay homage to Route 66 through signs or murals. Still others just happen to be on the route and possibly are on sections of the old highway that are not well marked and relatively unknown. There is now a great variety of cuisines and degrees of fidelity to the perceived Route 66 “theme,” but I want to put all of the ones in which I have eaten on my Route 66 List (and to share the information with readers).

 

Pops–660 W. Hwy. 66, Arcadia, OK

The pop bottle statue at Pops

Pops on State Hwy. 66 in Arcadia, OK

The giant pop bottle statue in front of Pops in Arcadia is becoming a landmark along Route 66, but the business itself is relatively new. Pops sells a large variety of pop (known as sodas in other parts of the country) and also has a grill where you can order hamburgers, etc. For me it is mostly a place to get some very good root beer and sarsaparilla.

 

Chow’s–3033 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK

Chow's on the early route of U.S. 66

Chow’s Chinese Restaurant at 3033 N. May Ave., OKC

Until the early part of the 1950’s Route 66 went through downtown Edmond, along Kelley and Lincoln Blvd. to the State Capitol, along 23rd Street to May Avenue, and then north to N.W. 39th Street where it met the route going west which kept the same alignment throughout the history of the highway.

I think this “original route” (along Lincoln, N.W. 23rd, May Ave., etc.) was not known to most people my age as even being part of Route 66 until the preservation movement publicized this fact and began promoting businesses along these streets. I have reviewed several restaurants on these streets and visited many more, but I am not making an extensive inventory of the restaurants as part of this article. Instead, I will just make a note of one which is one of my favorites.

Chow’s Chinese Restaurant at N.W. 30th and May is special to me because the Chinese food is so much better than it was when I was growing up. This location is especially significant to me because my high school is located across the street. Some may have heard of Northwest Classen because it is the Alma Mater of Rick Bayless, Elizabeth Warren, and other notable people. I also sometimes make a shameless plug because it is where I began to hone my writing skills which have reached their full expression in the restaurant reviews on this blog (but as in high school I still frequently wander off-topic such as writing articles about Route 66).

 

Ann’s Chicken Fry–4106 N.W. 39th St., Oklahoma City, OK

Ann's Chicken Fry

Ann’s Chicken Fry at 4106 N.W. 39th St., OKC

Ann’s Chicken Fry opened in 1971 after Interstate 40 was completed through Oklahoma City but when this portion of N.W. 39th Street was still officially designated as U.S. 66. Since that time it has continued to promote the fact that it is located on Route 66, but this is not the reason most customers come here. Instead, it popularity is based on the fact that many think it has one of the best versions of chicken fried steak in the area (I like it almost as much as the ones in Austin, Texas). In addition to the chicken fried steak, though, it has excellent fried chicken and an atmosphere that is very much like the restaurants of the Route 66 heyday.

 

Ding Asian Fusion–6400 N.W. 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK

Ding Asian Fusion

Ding Asian Fusion at 6400 N.W. 39th Expwy., Bethany, OK

Ding Asian Fusion is in a building which has housed a number of restaurants in the past few years. The current restaurant is not one that I think has a particular Route 66 theme, but in my opinion it is good Chinese food. Ding used to be a branch of Szechuan Bistro and now has been sold to an independent owner, but the food is much the same as it was originally. There are quite a few Szechuan style items that are more authentic than Americanized, but the spice level is American by default (you can ask for a higher spice level if you wish).

 

Birrieria Diaz–6700 N.W. 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK

Birrieria Diaz in Bethany

Birrieria Diaz at 6700 N.W. 39th Expwy, Bethany, OK

Birrieria Diaz has a Route 66 mural on its east wall, but otherwise seems like a normal neighborhood Mexican restaurant. It is unusual for the northside Oklahoma City neighborhoods, though, because of the fact that the food is very authentic. This is definitely one of the places I go because I like the food and not because it is on Route 66.

 

Swadley’s Bar-B-Q–4000 N. Rockwell Ave., Bethany, OK

Swadley's in Bethany

Swadley’s BBQ located a half block south of Route 66

Swadley’s Bar-B-Q is actually located a half block south of Route 66 on Rockwell Avenue, but I think it is close enough to include in this article. The traffic signal for Highway 66 is visible in this photo just above the Mayflower moving van (with the green, yellow, and red sign). Some may have to take my word for it, but the highway is actually quite close. I think Swadley’s has the kind of food that fits the spirit of the highway–it is something we remember from the time of Route 66 (those of us who are old enough) and it seems just as good now as ever.

 

Jim’s Restaurant–7950 N.W. 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK

Jim's Restaurant

Jim’s, 7950 N.W. 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK

For years Jim’s was a diner which was open 24 hours, and now it is just open “late.” It is still a good place for those on a trip who want the food to be served quickly so they can get back on the road, yet to enjoy a relaxed moment while they are there. I think it is best known for its breakfasts, and I certainly think they do a good job with this.

 

Mae’s–505 E. Main St., Yukon, OK

Mae's in Yukon, OK

Mae’s, 505 E. Main, Yukon, OK

I would say Mae’s is more of a cafe than a diner since it has somewhat limited hours and is a little more upscale than the typical diner. I was impressed with the food (it is definitely not a greasy spoon type of place). Of special note is the apple streudl they serve for dessert, which is the most Czech-like dish I have found in this town which was largely founded by Czech immigrants.

 

Green Chile Kitchen–12 E. Main St., Yukon, OK

Green Chile Kitchen in Yukon

Green Chile Kitchen, 12 E. Main, Yukon, OK

Green Chile Kitchen is one of the newer restaurants on this list, and has brought Santa Fe style cuisine to an area which is sorely lacking in this type of food. Of course if you are continuing west on Route 66 you will be able to get the real thing (either on the older route which actually goes through Santa Fe or on the newer route which gives you access to the numerous restaurants in Albuquerque which serve this type of food). As a purist I thought part of the food here was as it is served in New Mexico and some was not quite at this level, but I enjoyed all of it.

 

Poquito de Mexico–422 W. Main St., Yukon, OK

Poquito de Mexico in downtown Yukon, OK

Poquito de Mexico, 422 W. Main, Yukon, OK

Poquito de Mexico gives a taste of another style of Mexican food that is near and dear to my taste buds–that of Tex-Mex. While I am not quite as wild about this food as I am of the New Mexican cuisine served at Green Chile Kitchen, I do think it is a better representation of Tex-Mex food than many similar restaurants in Oklahoma. It also has the pedigree of being there when this was the “real” Route 66 highway.

 

Johnnie’s Grill–301 S. Rock Island, El Reno, OK

Johnnie's in El Reno, OK

Johnnie’s, 301 S. Rock Island, El Reno, OK

Johnnie’s Grill has onion burgers that are so good that I have never been able to resist the temptation to go back instead of trying one of the other places in El Reno which are also reputed to be very good. It is also on the old Highway 66 which made a rather serpentine route through the heart of El Reno which I think was to bring traffic in front of as many businesses as possible. Now with less through traffic, though, Johnnie’s seems to be as popular as ever and serves the best onion burger I have found anywhere.

 

Hibachi Buffet–1231 E. Main St., Weatherford, OK

Hibachi Buffet in Weatherford, OK

Hibachi Buffet, 1231 E. Main St., Weatherford, OK

Hibachi Buffet is one of the newer restaurants on Route 66, and is one of the few that is also visible from Interstate 40 (with an exit close by). I think they have decent Chinese food, and I have enjoyed stopping here since it was at its old location in downtown Weatherford (then called Young China). I will take this opportunity to point out, though, that western Oklahoma is not lacking in restaurants along Route 66 that fit the “roadfood” theme, have been there since U.S. 66 was the main highway through town, and/or is marketing itself as a “Route 66” restaurant.

 

Bangkok–5901 E. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, TX

Bangkok in Amarillo, TX

Bangkok, 5901 E. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, TX

I know Bangkok Restaurant has been on this stretch of the old Route 66 in Amarillo for a number of years, but I do not know if it dates back to 1985 when U.S. 66 was decommissioned (my first visit to Bangkok was in 2005). In fact, I believe this is an example of redevelopment along the former highway once most of the traffic moved to Interstate 40. Now a neighborhood restaurant, Bangkok serves both the immigrant population from Southeast Asia who now live in Amarillo as well as the non-Asian population who just like good food at cheap prices (you get both of these at Bangkok). My favorite item so far is the chicken kaprao, but I can only make it back to Amarillo infrequently to try other dishes combined with the fact that there are several other good Asian restaurants nearby from which to choose (and I like them all).

 

Ly’s Cafe–5615 E. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, TX

Ly's Cafe in Amarillo, TX

Ly’s Cafe, 5615 E. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, TX

Ly’s Cafe is another good choice within the “Asian Strip” along Route 66 on the east side of Amarillo. This is a Lao restaurant which offers food served the traditional style (photos of traditional Lao food I have seen from California look the same as the food I got here). There are other restaurants along this strip from the 5600 to the 5900 block of E. Amarillo Blvd., but this is the only one I have found that is dedicated exclusively to food from Laos.

Route 66 at the Texas-Oklahoma Border

I believe that something almost as important as the meals I enjoy and write about are the journeys to get to these various places (and in some cases this really seems to be even more important).

One such journey which has interested me since the days of my youth is the iconic one along Route 66 (U.S. Highway 66) which was gradually replaced by Interstate 40. My family made frequent trips from Oklahoma City to New Mexico to visit relatives as well enjoy the cooler summer temperatures in the mountains, and as a result I witnessed much of the transformation of this roadway to the way it is at present.

The sections of Route 66 which still exist have become quite an attraction for tourists, as well as the entire experience of 1950’s and 1960’s era travel which a growing number of entrepreneurs are savvy enough to try to replicate for visitors today.

I can say with a high degree of certainty that the original sections of Route 66 which still exist are not there by design, but just happened to survive due to various circumstances. I found a couple of examples of this on a recent trip on Interstate 40 at the Texas-Oklahoma border. Through some old maps that I have as well as ones I found on the Internet I have developed somewhat of a timeline for the history of this section of Route 66, but I also have memories of it from traveling in my parents’ station wagon on many of our family trips.

 

Wheeler County, Texas Just West of the Oklahoma State line

From Exit 176 eastbound in Wheeler Co., TX into Texola, OK

South frontage road of I-40 at mile 176 in Wheeler Co, TX

South frontage road of I-40 at mile 176 in Wheeler Co, TX

When I saw this section of road I suspected immediately that it was an original segment of Route 66, and a check of the old maps has confirmed that this is the case. This particular section of road is accessible if you take the Texola exit from Interstate 40 eastbound at Exit 176 in Texas.

This was the original Route 66 from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and now seems far too narrow to have functioned as a two-lane high speed highway, although I know that this was the case. Probably the biggest difference in that time period had to do with the size and number of trucks operating on the highway, but even for cars this seems like a narrow road.

A 1961 map of Wheeler County from the Texas Highway Department shows that this had become the eastbound portion of a now 4-lane divided highway. It is interesting that they developed this portion of the road to a 4-lane version of Highway 66 while the Interstate highway is in development (and was open in 1972 for the entire length of Wheeler County except for the loop around the city of Shamrock which was under construction at that time).

What seemed to save this portion of the roadway was the fact that a Texas law said any property owner along a roadway (including US highways) could have access to the roadway. When limited access highways were developed, including Interstate highways, they had to build frontage roads to provide the property owners’ access mandated by state law. With Texas being an ever so frugal and conservative state, they decided that the existing roadway (the old Route 66) would make an excellent frontage road. In Shamrock, where the new Interstate highway bypassed the city, the old Highway 66 is still in its form as it was in the 1960’s (a four-lane divided highway) now known as Business Route 40.

 

Texola, Oklahoma

The farthest west town in Oklahoma along the old Route 66

Route 66 in Texola, OK

Route 66 in Texola, OK

According the the old highway maps which are available for download at the ODOT web site, this section of Route 66 in Oklahoma was widened to four lanes in 1958, and served as the main highway until 1976 when this section of Interstate 40 was completed. Much of the existing Route 66 in Oklahoma today is this same type of four-lane highway, particularly through cities and towns. Because the Interstate largely did not go through the center of towns in western Oklahoma, this left large portions of Route 66 intact and this is another very good place to explore the old road.

Businesses along Route 66 in Texola

Businesses along Route 66 in Texola

Texola has a few businesses along Route 66 which seem to cater mainly to tourists. I was there late in the day and probably after their closing time, but I did see a few cars parked in front (I think they probably get more business during the day).

Texola is a good example of much of the 1960’s version of Route 66, but the south frontage road of Interstate 40 in Wheeler County Texas was of great interest to me as being an original section of the highway from the 1940’s and earlier.