After adventuring to many local restaurants in the Louisville area the food girls decided to take their final trip across the bridge to Jeffersonville Indiana. After trying diner style burgers, an Italian feast that made one group member feel right at home, and a pizza place that took the size of one slice to a whole other level we stumbled across authentic Thai food. Located at 1411 East 10th Street in Jeffersonville Indiana, Mai’s Thai was the ultimate Thai experience.
Mai’s Thai was created and is still run today by Mai Kungkran-Myers herself. Mai grew up in Bangkok Thailand where she learned her traditional Thai cooking from her father. When Mai became a young adult, she met her husband who was an American soldier at the time and followed him back to the United States. Louisville shortly became her new home.
When she first arrived, she struggled keeping jobs due to her struggling with her English. She then decided to use the skills she was best at to start a career, for her that was cooking. She started off cooking in a small grocery store in downtown Louisville where she cooked Thai food until it closed down. When the grocery closed down she decided to take her next adventure to Jeffersonville Indiana where she opened her current restaurant Mai’s Thai.
Upon walking into Mai’s Thai, we were greeted by one employee who we shortly learned was Mai’s daughter. She spoke to us while sitting at a table across the room telling us to sit wherever we would like. After looking through the menu Mai’s daughter proceeded to take our order by continuing to sit at the table and did not approach us until she brought us our drinks. We learned that Mai’s Thai is known for their peculiar service but makes up for it with their food.
The restaurant was filled with family pictures on the tables with the walls lined with little trinkets and memorabilia from Thai Land. The owner Mai makes a trip back to Thai land once a year to visit family and stay close to where she was born and raised.
Mai’s Thai may not believe in pleasing their customers the “American” way with good service but they please their customers with what they serve. At Mai’s Thai, all dishes are served exactly how they would be made in Thailand. The only exception is if the customer has a food allergy. You cannot get food without specific toppings or with different levels of spice but instead you get it authentic. Dishes are only made one way, which is the way Mai learned and later taught her family.
Although they are strict on the way they make their food they are also known as one of the best. The restaurant was filled with newspaper articles and magazine reviews from local publications raving about the small but well-known family eatery. They keep their traditional Thai food the way it should be—traditional but they have also pleased the customers by adding a few nontraditional items to the menu like crab Rangoon and spring rolls.
Mai’s Thai may be strict on their traditions and family recipes but they are more than happy to share what they know with everyone else. Mai believes her food is so good it would be wrong of her to keep them all to herself. When our group was visiting other local restaurants, we struggled with restaurants letting us is the kitchen to see how the food was made and what made it special. At Mai’s Thai, they welcomed us in the kitchen to see not only what made it so special but how authentic their recipe’s, service and employees really were.
For those interested in this experience also, Mai’s Thai offers cooking classes to the public. Where you can not only see them cook but learn how to cook your favorite dish yourself. A couple times a year they close the restaurant to show attendees how to make whatever dish they desire. Tickets are available for purchase in the restaurant or online at www.maisthai.com.
With Mai’s Thai being my first time eating Thai food it surely wasn’t one to disappoint. After filing up on Crab Rangoon, and Stir Fry I can easily say I would return to try it again. Mai’s Thai is open Monday through Wednesday 11am-8pm, Thursday & Friday 11am-9pm and Saturday 11am-8pm. Go visit a little piece of Thailand right in Jeffersonville Indian at Mai’s Thai. You won’t regret it.
Take a look at our experience at Mai’s Thai!