Must Try Menu Item: Bann Thai

A few years ago, I reviewed Bann Thai and wasn’t too spectacularly impressed by it. I felt bad because the service was very friendly and I based my opinion on just one menu item I tried. Being a believer in second chances, I made it a point to go back……and I eventually did…….many times!
Bann Thai is located at 6249 E 21st St N. That is near the south west corner of the little shopping strip at 21st and Woodlawn. It’s in the same complex as another past review Da Cajun Shak but at the west end of the building. It’s not easily visible driving down 21ststreet. They are closed on Sunday but open Monday-Friday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm for lunch and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm for dinner. Then on Saturday they are just open for dinner from 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
Bann Thai serves curry, stir fried, fried rice entrees, fish entrees, and other noodle dishes. They specialize in Thai cuisine. With all that said, it’s time to kick off the next installment of one of my favorite blog features to write, “Must Try Menu Item”. My attempt to help you decide what may be the best thing on the menu to try out.
Tom Yum Gai!
Some of you are actually crazy enough to listen to my suggestion so it’s my job to keep feeding you the Kool-Aid.
For the fourth entry in this feature, let’s try some soup. It was a cold winter day when I was driving down the nicely paved streets of Wichita looking for some soup. I love all sorts of soup and that day was looking for some hot and sour soup and remembered Bann Thai was in the area I was driving down. I remember the day vividly; it was brisk, cold, windy and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” blaring on the radio while I was nodding my head like yeah and moving my hips like yeah. All I wanted was some warm soup to soothe the frigid surroundings.
Glancing through the options of soup on the Bann Thai menu, they did not have Hot and Sour Soup but I decided to give the Tom Yum Gai a try. Their menu description says it’s a famous Thai hot and sour chicken soup with mushrooms, lime lemon grass, lemon leaf, galangal, and chilli. To be honest half of those items I’ve never heard of but it looked intriguing enough that I was all in.
When the soup came out, the aroma instantly turned my senses on. First sip off the spoon and I was in love. They say there’s no such thing as love at first sight which may or may not be true but I can vouch that there is such a thing as love at first sip. I’ve honestly never had a soup like it. All the spices inside it just complimented each other so well. The chicken had a nice bite to eat and the mushrooms were a nice addition.
The Spicy Version – WATCH OUT!
I’ve had this soup on many occasions since and you can order it as spicy as you like it. I usually get this mild because the medium is REALLY spicy and I that’s coming from someone who loves and can do spicy. The one time I did medium they had to give me a pitcher of water because it was so hot. (Writer’s note: I know water makes things worse but the other option is milk which is supposed to help but that’ll make things worse than water for a guy like me.)
Trust my suggestion; trust the Must Try Menu Item. The Tom Yum Gai is a Must Trai (<— See what I did there?) If you aren’t a fan of chicken, you can try the Shrimp option which is called Tom Yum Goong.
Otherwise, I hope this helps you all out.

Happy Dining,

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