Local: Thai China Buffet - Durham, NC

Tom Yum Goong
This is my favorite spot to get some Thai food in Durham. Why you ask? Well first off it's right next to me practically. More importantly, I've been to this establishment after hours and watched the employees sit around a bucket of veggies and hand pick the best pieces and trim the rest of them. That kind of attention to detail does not go unnoticed.

I love love love this soup. It's sweet and sour and spicy and hot and fresh and YUMMY! You may not like this dish if you are offended by strong flavors. You may not like this whole meal if you are offended by strong flavors. But if you are the adventurous type get all of these dishes I've laid out below.

Papaya Salad This is a classic dish for hot climates. It's spicy and makes you sweat out all the impurities in your body it seems like and it has a nice light crunchy texture from the green papaya and the thai chilies give it a kick in the @ss spice to it. If you don't like the taste or smell of fish sauce you may not like this dish too much. But if you like the salty flavor you'll love it. But then again if you love fish sauce, you've probably already had this dish.

Me Krab Lad Na
A must order dish of mixed sauteed veggies and meat in a garlic and chili based soy sauce over deep fried egg noodles. I don't think I've found one person who doesn't love this dish when we order it. It's just got it all, tasty fresh veggies, crispy noodles, and a choice of chicken, beef, or shrimp. This dish is a kind of a Chinese inspired dish. It's not true Thai but Thai China Buffet does this dish to perfection! (Tip)Ask for it extra Thai hot so no one else can eat it but yourself.

Thai Sausage We call these "psycho sausage" because the name of them which I have no idea how to spell much less pronounce, sounds a lot like "psycho". I guess if you go in and try to order it calling it psycho sausage you might get some funny looks. In any case, these thai style sausage are just simply fried up and served with some cukes that help cut the fattiness of the sausage. If you're into some good pork flavors you really should check this mamajamas out. Delicious! Make sure to get lots of rice!

--Joe Kwon

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