Tucked between a Coney Island and Hungry Howies’ is a highlight of Kalamazoo’s cuisine scene. Beneath the bright red and admittedly generic “BANGKOK FLAVOR” sign sits the best Thai dining establishment in town.
Choose any dish and you cannot go wrong. Each forkful is packed with unforgettable flavor unlike any Thai taste you have ever had. Long gone are boring rice noodles with an apathetic dousing of peanut sauce; rather, Bangkok Flavor’s ingredients come together in an intimate and artisan mix that’s so-savory-it’s-“Safron” good.
I’m never one to order appetizers or extras in addition to an entrée—it takes something spectacular for me to put down the extra dollar. Bear that confession in mind and take this suggestion to heart: Bangkok Flavor’s soups are irresistible and must be ordered.
Try the “Tom Kha” for a spicy splash of coconut, curry, and scallions that warms your tummy and feeds at least four, or the “Tom Yum” for an exclamation that fits the soup’s name.
But Bangkok Flavor’s offers more than just soup; an array of entrées, most often served with rice or noodles, won’t fail to leave you satisfied and eager for your next visit. As a word of caution, it is worth noting that the sauces are dangerously addictive. The first bite initiates an eating loop, ending only in an empty plate and an unexpectedly too-full stomach.
Gluten-free clientele need not be worried, as about half of Bangkok Flavor’s caters to those with such dietary restrictions. As always, those with tree nut and peanut allergies should take normal precaution.
Bangkok Flavor does do a good job avoiding the all too common problem of sodium saturated servings at American dining establishments. Bangkok Flavor’s cuisine is three steps above the salt laden choices from the nearest corner take-out restaurant, and so there’s no need to fret over what normally is an inevitable after-dinner thirst.
If there is anything to criticize, then perhaps the cuisine is a little light on the portion of meat included with each dish, though the assertions on Yelp assure me this is more authentic. Don’t expect bright orange “General Tso” style entrées comprised entirely of stir-fried chicken or pork, but rather nutritious, protein-produce balanced dishes that will leave you amazed.
Bangkok Flavor is located in the commercial plaza at the intersection of Gull and Sprinkle Road. While the 4.6 miles separating K and 5455 Gull Road aren’t necessarily walkable, the 10-minute drive with friends or family is well worth the effort.
Best of all is that Bangkok Flavor won’t break the bank. Dinner entrées rarely exceed $15, and each dish can easily serve two people or as dinner for the following day. Smaller portions and a-la-carte items are also available at lower prices.