I was born in Fresno and grew up here, as did my husband and my parents. I'm thrilled to be raising my young son here too! I've gone away for school and spent brief periods in other parts of California, but have always ended up homesick for my hometown.
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Thai Royal Orchid Restaurant
I’ve been going to the Thai Royal Orchid Restaurant since it was in a tiny space next to a car lot on Blackstone Avenue. They moved to their First/Herndon location years ago, and things have changed quite a bit since then, but we still head in about once a month to satisfy our cravings for Thai food.
We used to go out to eat a lot more often, but they always remember us and are so accommodating! Since we eat with a toddler now, we’re careful about where we go, and the crew here at Thai Royal Orchid always makes us feel welcome. They even make an effort to visit with our little guy, making sure he gets his bowl of rice and plastic spoon to practice with.
If you’re leery about trying Thai food, this is a great place to do it. There was a group at the next table who had never had Thai food before. The waitress was very accommodating about substitutions, and they’re also happy to adjust spice levels, answer questions, and make suggestions.
The food here is always yummy, with portions that satisfy my husband. I wish I had tried more of the different options they have, but I typically end up getting the same two or three things because I like them so much.
My go-to is Combo # 4, which is garlic chicken with pad Thai and a small salad. My husband swears by the pineapple chicken. And we probably shouldn’t, but we can’t get out of there without ordering a Thai tea apiece.
We stuck to our typical orders on this last visit, and each bite was just as delicious as the last time we went.
The pineapple chicken has a great presentation, it’s actually served in half a pineapple with a heaping bowl of rice. Tangy, savory chicken with lots of veggies and fun pops of pineapple makes this a firm favorite of both my husband and my son.
The pad Thai is always well-balanced, with plenty of chicken, savory rice noodles, and fresh, crisp bean sprouts. The garlic chicken definitely lives up to its name. Lots of garlic, and super yummy. And I typically get to take home a little container for my lunch the next day. Not having to cook is always a bonus!
We agreed that it had been a while since we had been in and we felt like having a treat (any excuse) so we got the sweet sticky rice with coconut ice cream for dessert.
I’m not sure if all Thai sweet sticky rice is bright green like Thai Royal Orchid’s is, but it’s a fun, different dessert experience. Sweet and syrupy- there’s a crunch to the topping that contrasts nicely with the slight chewiness of the rice.
The coconut ice cream is creamy but refreshing- a combo you don’t run across too often. If you have more than two people, fresh mango is a great addition, too!
So when you’re sick to death of turkey, or just in the mood for a little something different, I highly recommend giving Thai Royal Orchid Restaurant a try.