Monday, June 26, 2017

A Thai Restaurant in Loudon Tennessee

We have a building just a few miles from our home that has gone through a succession of restaurant styles and operators.  We keep hoping that one will succeed since this location is a short drive for us!

This is Thai Bistro at Tellico Lake in Loudon Tennessee.  This is the 7th restaurant to occupy this space in the almost 8 years that we’ve lived in East Tennessee…

First there was Catino’s (Italian/Pizza…good pizza and the longest lived operation…having been in business for some time before we moved to the area); then there was a short-lived and locally reviled Ayala’s (Mexican); followed by Tellico Grill (a bit of upscale casual American food); then American House of Pancakes (casual breakfast, lunch and dinner); Doug’s Place. (Doug served a very nice peppercorn sirloin), and; the restaurant prior to Thai Bistro was called Grinderz…

Thai Bistro had been open just 2 days when we first stopped in for dinner.  Other than a couple of decorations…mostly figures of Buddha on display…the décor is exactly as it has been for all 7 restaurant operations.  In general, local folks don’t like those “walled in booths” and they aren’t very comfortable, that’s for sure.  The good news is that, Tellico Villagers and surrounding communities must be hungry for some Thai food, because the restaurant was quite busy!

This is my unusually patient wife waiting for our food… Remember, this was only the 2nd day of operation for this restaurant, a situation that we usually avoid!  Not only did Thai Bistro have a large crowd dining in, they also had a significant take-out business going on.

I’d like to say that this was our appetizer but it wasn’t… We ordered Golden Triangles ($6.00) for an appetizer and Tom Yum Soup ($4.00) for Laurie.  Golden Triangles consist of ground chicken with Thai herbs wrapped in wonton wrappers that are deep fried to a golden brown and then served with homemade sweet and sour sauce.  Tom Yum Soup is a hot and spicy soup that contains chicken (alternately tofu, shrimp or vegetables), mushrooms, chili, lemon-grass, tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro.

After waiting quite a while, a server brought us 2 Spring Rolls, thanking us for our patience… A bit later our waitress brought us these 3 additional Spring Rolls and she told us that they’d run out of the “Golden Triangles”.  We learned a bit later that another server had taken Laurie's soup…so we told our waitress to forget it.  It was over an hour before we got our dinners.

FYI…These Spring Rolls were very good!  They went well with our beers.  Fortunately, Thai Bistro has a beer license…

For my dinner I ordered my old standby…from the Chinese side of the menu.  This was the General Tso’s Chicken. ($10.00) It was better than average although it wasn’t as spicy as I like it despite my request to ramp up the heat level.  FYI…I’d requested fried rice with my entrée and but I got the steamed rice instead. 

The menu for Thai Bistro at Tellico Village is quite extensive.  There are 7 standard appetizers along with 4 vegetarian ones.  There are 6 soups and 6 salads.  Three types of fried rice are on the menu along with 5 noodles dishes, 5 Thai entrees, 5 Thai Curries, 6 Chinese entrees, 6 Chef’s Corner items and 12 Hibachi and Teriyaki options.  There are even 5 desserts available including fried ice cream…

Laurie decided to have the Yellow Curry. ($12.00) She had a choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu or vegetables prepared with coconut milk, carrots, onions, potatoes and bell peppers.  She chose the chicken.  Laurie likes curry and she really enjoyed her entrée!

We expected issues on the 2nd day after Thai Bistro opened… Waitresses and the kitchen were still learning how to operate together and the kitchen facility is small here, making the challenge even greater.  Patrons were generally understanding on the night we dined here. 

Six days after Thai Bistro opened for business...this time it was on a Wednesday...we returned for an early dinner.

This time I was able to order the Golden Triangles.  They were pretty but I must admit that they were OK but not great.  They lacked any real distinctive flavor. Laurie tasted one and she agreed with me.

Laurie had heard good things about Thai Bistro's Crab Rangoon so she ordered it as her appetizer. ($6.00) She liked it a could actually taste the crab with the first bite! I ate one too and it was plump and fully backed with flavor. This was a winner! Plus, Laurie thought they were so original as to how they were made, all twisted up into a little tasty bundle. 

For her entree, Laurie ordered the Tiger Tear Beef. ($12.00) The menu describes this dish as being Northern Thai style...marinated steak grilled and served with mixed vegetables and Thai spicy sauce.  She was disappointed that there wasn't any sauce on her plate to eat with the vegetables, steak and accompanying rice.  The steak didn't have much flavor and it was a bit tough too.  The Thai spicy sauce was indeed spicy...but this entree was not what Laurie expected it to be. The vegetables were very good.

This time I ordered the Bangkok Chicken. ($13.00) Somewhat similar to General Tso's Chicken, the breaded and stir fried chicken is served with homemade sweet and sour tamarind sauce and it's topped with roasted cashews and sesame seeds.  I asked for a heat level of 6... The sweet and sour sauce was spicy but the next time I'll have to kick it up to an 8!  I enjoyed my meal.  Laurie tasted it and liked it too...

The good news is that during both visits the food was above average and 95% of the on-line comments about the food that we’ve seen since Thai Bistro opened have been very positive... Our service during the second visit was much improved and while we beat the crowd in this instance, everything moved along smoothly.  We are very hopeful that this restaurant will survive, improve a bit more and thrive!

Thai Bistro at Tellico Village is located just a block west of TN Hwy 444 at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-6440.  Their website with its lengthy menu can be found at:   

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. That is such a good location a restaurant with decent food should make it. If I were opening a place, opening day would be after we had practiced for a week on friends and family and had everything working pretty smoothly.

  2. Very nice ambiance, Dave. And the dishes look delicious!

  3. Well, I get it with opening day, but it sounds like they have a great selection. I love the hot spicy Thai food and luckily there are many good Thai restaurants around us. The first time I went to a Thai restaurant, many years ago, was when my boss took me to a great Thai restaurant for my yearly review---for the social service agency where I worked. That was unlike any review I'd ever had, but delicious, with good review results! I hope this restaurant will be a keeper for you and Laurie! Enjoy!

  4. Sometimes it just seems as if there is a convenient place available for a good restaurant in an area but no matter how many restaurants come into that space, they don't seem to make it... Wonder why????

    BUT--there's one place here in Crossville which FINALLY has a good Mexican Restaurant in one of those locations --and it does GREAT.... SO---who knows!!!!!!

    Hope the Thai Restaurant makes it...