Another New Thai Place in Nashville
January 3, 2010
The Smiling Elephant
2213 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204
I forgot to eat yesterday until late afternoon, when I decided to try out the Smiling Elephant at 2213 8th Ave. South, just north of Bradford. The restaurant coexists with P&K Imports–as indicated by the dual signage. [Hat tip to Marty.] It’s a conscientious place: the uniform prices (all dishes are $8.95 at lunch and $10.95 at dinner), the menu, the healthy cooking (no MSG and the counterintuitive promise to wok with olive oil), the interior wood paneling, its internet presence, and the eager service. It’s a family operation (background here). The dining room is quaint–with ten or so tables. The kitchen is open and exposed.
I ordered the Thai fried rice, with chicken, to go. The rice was tastily fried and mixed with wedges of tomatoes, winter greens (unexpected), and cilantro. The vegetables were al-dente, which I appreciated. I added some Maggi and sriracha to suit my taste. The heaping portions satiated my nauseating hunger. I’ll be back to try more.
Another visit 1/23/10, we picked up a to-go order of the pad thai with chicken and the Khao Kai Ra-bert, which was recommended to us by the restaurant’s phone operator. The pad thai had the right combination of taste and texture that we have come to expect from the Elephant. But the Khao Kai Ra-bert was unexpectedly savory, despite sounding simple on the menu: “Mild stir fry with minced pork, garlic, and ground black pepper. Served with a fried egg and jasmine rice.” We asked for an extra serving of white rice to have enough grub for three people (and it was). The total: $26.