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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Tue–Sat 11:00am–2:00pm
Tue–Sat 6:00pm–9:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, BYO
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Del Valle
13 miles from Austin
4315 Caldwell Ln.
Del Valle, TX
(512) 247-3855
Little Thailand
Not a hidden treasure of traditional cooking, but a hidden treasure nonetheless

Dick Simcoe once asked us, “Who’s the nut who’ll put a Thai restaurant out in the middle of nowhere and play country music in it?” The “middle of nowhere” in this case is Del Valle, TX, a 20-minute drive east of Austin. We lost an icon when he passed away in 2009, leaving Little Thailand safely in the hands of his Thai wife and her sister. They and their family still make everyone feel exceedingly welcome, and this double-wide trailer beneath the water tower is a kitsch-lover’s dream come true. In the back, there’s a tiny bar whose clutter, dust, and taxidermy fetish is as stuck in time as its mid-century Wurlitzer jukebox. It’s one of our top places to take visitors, especially to enjoy a super-spicy “Thai Bloody Mary”…or boxed wine.

The menu will frustrate lovers of authentic Thai food, although there is, at least, som tam—order it spicy to get the point; mostly, the restaurant caters to American familiarities. Everything that doesn’t come with lemongrass, coconut milk, Thai ginger, and/or basil is served with Chinese-American sweet-and-sour sauces and stir-fry mixes. The proteins are mundane and safe: chicken and beef, some pork and very little shrimp or squid. Do order Surin’s buttery cabbage soup, stuffed hot wings, and lime-zingy, spicy larb (“lop,” in this menu’s dialect), and raise a Singha to Dick.

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