Continuing our desperate search for THE best Pad Thai led us to Sullivan’s Diner in Benton, Arkansas.
Did we find it?
Sullivan”s Diner sits on a small corner lot off Military Drive in Benton, Arkansas. It’s a quaint building with benches outside and a container garden encircling a giant oak tree. Inside, the red and white checked tablecloths and black restaurant chairs give an old fashioned vibe like those diners back in the 50’s. At least that’s what it felt like to me.
The order counter sits at the back of the small diner with an open window to the kitchen. The owner sat behind it typing away at his laptop. The ringing of the bell on the door announced our arrival and he looked up, smiled, and greeted us in a friendly manner as we entered. It was just 45 minutes til they closed up for the day. As is his way, Thom chatted up the owner and we learned he served our country, proudly, for over 25 years and he shared part of his life story with us including how he met his wife in Thailand. She’s the chef at Sullivan’s.
After a funny conversation about free water from Flint, we sat ourselves at a table near the front window and waited for our Pad Thai. We didn’t have to wait long.
Best Pad Thai
My palette for spicy food has changed since we first began the desperate search for the best Pad Thai. Normally, Thai restaurants rate the spiciness on a scale of 1 to 5. Five being “call the fire engines to hose me down” hot. I like my Pad Thai spicy. I ordered the 5. Both the owner and Thom raised their eyebrows and protested heavily. Against my better judgment I backed off and lowered it to four.
Our dishes arrived topped cabbage, a slice of lime, and a side of fresh cucumber. Thom ordered the shrimp, of which there were plenty.
At first bite, I knew I had ordered the wrong spiciness. I looked at Thom and confidently told him I should have stuck with the 5. I mean, it was spicy but I could have handled more.
The Pad Thai sauce was good. So good that I could say that this was the best Pad Thai I’ve had so far. I loved the fresh sprouts and the carrots-it was a first for those in any Pad Thai we’ve had. It’s a very good thing, too, as the previous best Pad Thai place we found in Conway has since closed up shop.
We’ll definitely visit Sullivan’s again for the Pad Thai. The American-Thai fusion menu has many choices for carnivores so I’m not sure we’d order anything other than the noodles and the vegetable fried rice.
I’d love to hear about the best Pad Thai you’ve found so I can grab some on our travels! Share in the comments, or as always, join in the conversation over at Desperately Seeking: Inspiration for Creative Living Facebook page.