I occasionally joke that Thai is the new Chinese. It wasn’t so many years back that there were a ton of Chinese restaurants and only a couple of Thai restaurants in the area, but that has completely changed. We now have a plethora of Thai restaurants in West Michigan and Thai Avenue (8516 Homestead Dr #101, Zeeland, MI 49464) is one of the newest restaurants to join the party.
I first became aware of Thai Avenue when several group members posted dinner photos from there on a regular basis. The food looked consistently good, so I felt the need to investigate.
Thai Avenue is the popular new Thai restaurant in Zeeland that is owned and operated by the Khammanivong Family. This is this family’s first foray into the restaurant industry as owners, but their extended family owns restaurants in the Washington D.C. area. It was in those restaurants where the family honed their abilities in Thai cooking and then brought those skills to West Michigan.
Thai Avenue is coming up on its one year anniversary, and so far things are going swimmingly. To be perfectly honest, I have never seen a Thai restaurant in Grand Rapids as busy as Thai Avenue was during lunch hour when I visited them 2 weeks ago, but it makes perfect sense. They are located just a short skip and a jump from I 196 which makes them easily accessible from Hudsonville, and it is sufficiently close to Holland and Saugatuck to draw in clientele from there as well. That combined with the proximity of several offices and other businesses makes it a perfect location to gather at lunch time.
Thai Avenue serves the standard curries and soup dishes that you would expect in this genre of food (Tom Yum and Tom Kha), as well as traditional noodle dishes stir fry and many vegetarian options for those who are not “meat inclined” There are several dishes that can be made gluten free as well.
Additional/Unique dishes like their Beef Jerky, crying tiger, Vietnamese pho and their chicken and shrimp super roll give the menu a little flair of non-traditional Thai cooking.
Thai Avenue is the perfect addition to the growing Zeeland food scene which now has several good restaurants and a brewery. I feel that the Holland/Zeeland area in general is really showing its’ culinary chops in the last couple of years, and would encourage anybody to take a short ride out that direction and see what is happening new in the world of food.