Published on April 26th, 2012 | by Kevin Barron1
Review: Ann’s Kitchen & Taste of Thai
Editor’s Note: On Christmas Day 2012 we were informed by a Facebook friend that Mrs. Ann Wise, owner, had passed away after a serious illness. Many of us in the Florence foodie community will miss her and will retain a special place in our hearts for her kindness. The future of the restaurant has not been shared with us yet, but know that we will post any updates as available.
914 South Cashua Drive
Florence, SC 29501
Phone: (843) 679-9678
Closed Sundays & Mondays
WHY YOU SHOULD GO
Ann’s menu is as mouthwatering as it is well-prepared. Each plate’s colors and flavors wrap around your hunger, providing it with a gratifying embrace. That is, unless you tend to spicy side of life. Those same flavors, at your request, will also provide you with a wedgie that you won’t soon forget. As to portion size versus pricing, Ann’s menu gives some of the best value that we’ve seen anywhere. For example, a bowl of soup literally served three of us with a take home portion to spare. Last but not least, I’d like to ask you to think about the best service experience you’ve ever received in a restaurant. Thinking of it? That’s Ann’s service level. For all of these reasons, you should go.
WHY WE’LL GO AGAIN
It took us well over two years to get to Ann’s for a review meal. We need to make up for lost time!
On Good Friday of this year we decided to go shopping. Eventually, we visited Cashua Pickers, Palmetto Peddlers, and the Thieves Market – all in Florence. But first, we had to eat. For a change of pace, and because we hadn’t yet posted a review of it, we decided to visit Ann’s for lunch.
Reputation preceding it, we were greeted as warmly as expected. We sat against the far wall enabling me to have a view of most of dining room and the kitchen. I like watching the action. Our server, as sweet as she could be, welcomed us again. She asked whether we had Thai before and then listened to our preferences. Unfazed with our questions and feedback, she made recommendations that were spot on.
We started with the Fried Spring Rolls as an appetizer. Our daughter ordered Rice Noodle Soup, which had shrimp added to it as a way to add a bit more heft to what we thought would be a regular sized bowl. We’d find out we were wrong. I ordered Kee Mow and Melissa chose the Thai Noodle Bowl with tofu.
The Fried Spring Rolls were amazing. Rumored to be the best anywhere, I now know why. Fresh, crunchy, and overstuffed, they served as the perfect base for the sauces we were offered. Prior to the soup arriving, three soup bowls were set on our table. We looked at each other quizzically, wondering why we would need so many bowls for a single order of soup. Ask a stupid question … you know the rest. What can rightly be deemed a “ginormous” bowl of steaming Rice Noodle Soup was placed in front of us. Seemingly a quart of broth with oodles of noodles and a generous portion of large shrimp, it was so much more than we could have anticipated. We ladled regular portion sizes into the three bowls and enjoyed every spoonful.
Soon my Kee Mow arrived; a version with large rice noodles that was off the menu. It had a level of heat that gradually caught my attention after about three or four forkfuls. It was a deep and tasty heat that quickly became addictive. The sauce-coated flat noodles and fresh basil were a combination that I’d never tried. To put it bluntly, I was like a dog with a bone.
Melissa’s Thai Noodle Bowl with fried tofu was equally memorable. She commented on the peanut sauce, a staple of Thai meals, and that she was surprised at how much she liked the tofu. She’d never had it before, but I think she was converted. Miracles happen every day.
When we were finally done, full and beautiful, we packed up what remained. We paid our check happily and then, after being thanked multiple times for our visit, hit the streets to shop for nicknacks and doodads for our new living room and kitchen.
It was a great day in the Pee Dee and it started out phenomenally with a visit to Ann’s Kitchen & Taste of Thai. We recommend it highly.
SELECTED MENU ITEMS
* = spicy dishes prepared to order
Fried Tofu – fried bean curd with sweet chili sauce
Fried Spring Rolls – clear noodle with mixed vegetables, deep friend with sweet chili sauce
Pla Muk Tod – deep fried squid with chili sauce
Duck Wrap – duck breast, lettuce, and tomatoes in Thai wrap with mango chutney
Tom Yum/Lemon Grass
Pud Thai – rice noodles, peanut sauce, beans sprouts, and chives
*Kee Mow – rice noodles with basil, mixed vegetables, and spicy sauce
Pud See Ew – large rice noodles, broccoli, garlic, and Thai soy sauce
Thai Noodle Bowl – egg noodles, broccoli, carrots, and more
*Five Spice Pork – pork, fish sauce, green curry, and lemon grass
Plum Sauce – chicken in sweet plum sauce with mixed vegetables
Siam Duck – crispy duck over vegetables with spicy chutney
Pla Radprig – flounder with ginger, carrots, onions, red pepper, and shrimp
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Can’t think of any suggestions right now. Seriously.