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Soft, wide glass noodles stir-fried with egg, cilantro, bean sprouts, lime, marinated tofu, and plenty of crunchy peanuts.

This is not only the best pad thai that I’ve had in Nashville, it is the best pad thai I have had anywhere.

I know what you must be thinking.  A few months ago I cited Nashville’s Sonobana as having the best chirashi this side of Japan, and now I’m claiming that Nashville is also home to the best ever pad Thai.  It seems incongruous to be touting this Southern city as some kind of mecca of Asian cuisine, but it is the only city (thus far) for which i have used this superlative. Nashville doesn’t just have a great music scene, it is also has some surprisingly incredible food.

What makes this pad thai a cut above the rest is the quality of the ingredients and how well all of the different elements meld.  I love the soft, wide glass noodles they use, there are plenty of crunchy peanuts in every bite, the bean sprouts are abundant without competing with the texture of the noodles, the egg adds a nice fullness to the dish, and the sauce is super-tasty and clearly not from a bottle.  And you get a little of everything in every bite.

At other Thai restaurants I normally opt for the chicken, but the tofu at the Smiling Elephant adds so much to the flavour and texture of this amazing dish that I can’t imagine ordering it any other way.

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2 thoughts on “Best Pad Thai // The Smiling Elephant, Nashville TN

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