In a world awash with signals telling you to buy meat, Jack Porcari takes the easier path for the planet, sticking to vegetables, cheese and eggs. He details his finds for readers in Kind Cuisine, posted every Thursday.
Nestled away in a cozy boulevard strip lives a Thai restaurant you might just miss if you were passing by. Elephants and ornate Siamese iconography cover the walls inside while the secluded eatery bustles behind the black brick façade. Located less than three miles from UB’s North Campus, Jasmine offers a wide variety of vegetarian Thai cuisine.
The panang curry was accompanied by a generous amount of fluffy white rice. Billowing steam upon opening the takeout container, the coconut milk and peanut base gave this dish a golden shimmer that made me want to dig in. Jasmine’s tofu is slightly firm and absorbs all the flavors from the mushrooms, curry spices, peanuts, celery and more. The only thing that could make this dish better would be if the curry sauce was slightly thicker.
A newfound Thai favorite of mine was the hot eggplant ($11.95) for a few reasons. Firstly, I enjoyed the texture of the eggplant. On the outside, it was crispy with batter, and the inside was soft, not stiff. Next, their spicy hot pepper sauce, made from a ginger base and various pepper powders, has enough heat to keep you reaching for your water, without overpowering the dish. For an elevated experience, try pouring the sauce over the eggplant like a drizzle instead of using it for dipping. The eggplant will soak up a salty, spicy and tangy flavor profile reminiscent of tamarind. If variety is an important quality to you, this dish is sure to deliver.
The papaya salad ($8.95) starts off sweet and then it gets spicy. After about five or six bites, I realized that this dish was a bit too spicy for my liking. Despite this, the traditional Thai salad had an amazing citrusy-tropical pop to it. The salad tasted fresh and reminded me of a spicy rendition of Lin Restaurant’s ginger salad, except with less flavor, body and crunch.
The pickup process was fairly simple, and I was surprised at how well the dishes tasted after enduring a ride home in a takeout box. With neat portioning and a convenient takeout experience, it was easy to enjoy a warm meal from Jasmine.
Hours: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. daily
Address: 1330 Niagara Falls Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Orders: Takeout only
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Jack Porcari is the assistant features editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science major with a minor in law and journalism. Aside from writing and editing, he enjoys playing piano, flow arts, reptiles and activism.