Bites Nearby: Tusk Thai Restaurant
The home-cooked meals at this Tri-Cities favorite for Thai food is an experience in cultural dining and flavors.
You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:
Overview: For more than 25 years, the owners of Tusk have been feeding the Thai cravings of customers throughout the Chicago area. What began as an urban restaurant endeavor has turned into a suburban staple in experiencing the exotic flavors of Thai cooking.
Decor: The 16-table dining room aspires to be nothing more than what it is—a warm environment where you can enjoy homemade Thai food. The decor is minimal,yet cozy, with Thai statues and wall hangings throughout. A deep shade of orange covers the walls while hanging pendant lights create a soft ambiance at night. During the day, natural light pours in from large windows giving pleasant view of downtown Batavia.
The Drinks: Tusk is a BYOB restaurant with no corkage fee. Non-alcoholic options are offered with Thai Iced Tea ($2.00) and specialty Thai soda drinks ($2.50).
Appetizers: The usual Thai appetizers are featured in selections such as the Thai Spring Rolls ($4.95) and Chicken Satay ($5.95). Pan-fried Chive Dumplings ($4.95) are sauteed in garlic butter and served with a sweet soy chili sauce, which opens the palate and provides just the right amount of spice. Try the Tom Yum soup ($3.95 w/chicken, $4.95 w/shrimp) for a sweet and hot experience in true Thai cooking.
Entrees: Noodles and curry are the shining stars of the Tusk menu. During a recent dining experience, the Pad Thai ($8.95 or $10.95 w/shrimp) was expertly prepared and the noodles were cooked perfectly. The Panang Curry ($9.95 or $11.95 w/ shrimp) had a smooth, velvety consistency, with all ingredients harmonizing well. It also comes as a chef’s special prepared with salmon ($12.95). Tusk’s Green Curry ($9.95 or $11.95 w/shrimp) is a popular selection among restaurant regulars. The spicy dish is mellowed by sweet coconut milk and comes prepared with your choice of meat, basil, bamboo shoots, sweet peppers, and peas.
Desserts: Cool your palate with the traditional Mango and Sticky Rice ($4.95), or try the Thai Pumpkin Custard ($3.95), made with kabocha pumpkin and palm sugar.
Service: Wait times can be long on weekends, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation. The service is prompt and the staff is willing to help with menu choices.
Tusk Thai Restaurant
Address: 102 N. River St., Batavia, IL