In my quest to find the best vegetarian dining experiences in Florissant, my first stop has set the bar high.
, 2470 Lindbergh Blvd. is a hidden treasure.
Upon first looking at their menu, I was surprised to notice that about half of the 100 items (they're numbered) either are vegetarian or have vegetarian options.
Their fried rice, noodle, curry and stir-fry dishes all come with the option of being made with mixed veggies or tofu (in addition to meat and seafood options). Their specific vegetarian menu items are Stir-Fried Asparagus and Eggplant, Stir-Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, all of which come with rice on the side.
For appetizers, we ordered the Fried Spring Rolls (four for $4.50) and the Banana Spring Rolls (four for $4.50). The fried spring rolls - cabbage, carrots and green beans wrapped in rice paper - were cooked to perfection.
The roll itself was just the right shade of golden brown, and the veggies inside were cooked just enough to still have some crunch to them and remain flavorful. The rolls were served with a sweet and sour sauce that was also very delicious.
The banana spring rolls - banana slices wrapped in rice paper - were also cooked quite well. When you first hear about these, you might think that the banana inside the roll would turn out mushy or rotten, but the banana manages to stay in one piece, making it even more delicious. For both appetizers, they were able to fry the rolls without making them greasy, which is a major accomplishment when compared to most fried food. The only complaint I have about the appetizers is that the banana spring rolls might be better as a dessert, especially considering they're served with honey.
As a lover of fried rice, I could not resist ordering some for my entree. I also enjoy spicy foods, so I decided to order the Curry Fried Rice with tofu ($7.95). The portion size was generous (enough for at least two meals), but I had to stop myself from eating the whole plate.
As with the spring rolls, the rice was fried impeccably well - there wasn't a pool of grease at the bottom of the plate. Frying tofu can also be a delicate art, and they managed to give some texture to the tofu without making it extra crispy. The same could be said for the vegetables that were mixed in with the rice - green peppers, red peppers and green beans.
The infusion of curry into the dish gave it that extra kick that people who love spicy food crave. However, I should note that my mom, who went with me to the restaurant and likes a little spice in her food, tried mine and said she wouldn't be able to eat a large quantity of it due to the curry.
Simply Thai also offers a variety of fried rice dishes that don't include the extra spice - just avoid dishes with the "bomb" graphic next to them. The fact that we had an attentive server who kept our water glasses full was helpful in keeping the spice from getting over-powering.
We also tried the Stir-Fried Asparagus and Eggplant ($7.95) from the vegetarian section of the menu. The dish consists of stir-fried asparagus, eggplant, carrots and baby corn sauteed in a garlic sauce with rice served on the side for you to mix with the veggies to your liking. The portion size of this was just as generous as the fried rice, and it was just as delicious. Every ingredient was cooked just right. The only complaint we had was that the pieces of eggplant were a little on the large side, especially compared to the other veggies in the dish.
Luckily, we stopped ourselves from eating too much of the main course to try a dessert: Sweet Rice with Thai Custard ($4.95). The custard was served on a large bed of the sweet rice with a little bit of coconut milk poured over the top. The quantity of the rice was a little much, especially considering how rich the custard was, but otherwise it was just the right amount of sweet to top-off this delicious meal.
For more information on the restaurant, Simply Thai's website offers their complete menu and a slideshow of photos of their food. In addition to being able to dine-in, you can order take-out food from the restaurant and pick it up at their drive-thru window.