Whether it’s barbecued ribs, Italian or Chinese cuisine, the spicy options usually catch my eye. So when I learned that a Thai restaurant called Thai One On had opened on Noble Street in Anniston, I was excited to sample its menu. Thai food is known for its many spicy dishes, and Thai One On allows customers to choose the level of spiciness — with one being the lowest level and five being the highest level.
I decided to try the Drunken Noodles dish, which includes chicken, egg, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and bamboo shoots. I picked the level four spiciness, feeling my hot food tolerance was more than adequate.
After eating a few bites, it felt like there were chemical burns in my mouth.
I mean that in a completely positive way.
Sam Sutchaleo, owner and main chef at Thai One On, which opened a month ago, has lived in Anniston about four years now. Sutchaleo has lived in the United States since 1975, and previously owned a Thai restaurant in Indianapolis, Ind.
“I learned to cook from my family and my mother,” Sutchaleo said. “And I used to work at several Asian restaurants.”
Though he has plenty of cooking experience, Sutchaleo owes much of the success of Thai One On’s tasty dishes to his wife, whom he met in Anniston.
“She’s a very good cook herself,” Sutchaleo said. “I thought I knew what I was doing, but she makes it better here with her ingredients and flavoring.”
Sutchaleo said the food at his restaurant is traditional Thai cuisine that has authentic ingredients. While I am hardly a Thai food expert, I know fresh ingredients when I eat them. Thai One On has those in abundance. The chicken is freshly cut and the vegetables are all vibrant and flavorful. Also, the menu is quite varied, with multiple noodle and rice dishes with choices of pork, chicken, beef or vegetarian.
And the spice … delicious, manly levels of spiciness that will overload your senses and make you question your grip on reality.
There are also plenty of non-spicy options available. But where is the fun in that?
In addition to the food, there is a full bar available for all your alcohol-drinking needs.
I, for one, plan to return to Thai One On many times in the future to try the different dishes, and encourage everyone to do the same. But don’t order a spice level beyond three if you’re not a veteran of eating spicy dishes.
Just remember I warned you.
Thai One On
• 911 Noble St., Anniston, 256-770-7256.
• Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.