It’s not often that I get out to Tillman’s Corner. I occasionally head west for a little grub, but my visits to our western neighbors are few and far between. Every now and then I discover little hidden gems that make the drive worthwhile. This week I decided to stop by a place I keep hearing folks rave about called Three Flavors.
Out Highway 90, Three Flavors is across the street from other famous Tillman’s Corner establishments such as Dick Russell’s Barbecue and the Candy Store. I’ve never eaten at the latter, but Dick Russell’s doesn’t disappoint. So Three Flavors is in good company.
Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai make up the tasty triumvirate that begat the name. Fans of Asian food should know that these folks do each well. The menu is expansive, and researchers should not be fooled by limited versions that seem to be the only thing you can find online. So for my first visit I thought it best to hit the high notes and sample some familiar dishes before delving into anything risky.
Thai iced tea ($2.50) was a great way to start off the meal. This one isn’t bad. Sweet and unpretentious is the route they took. No whipped cream on top or cherries, but definitely requires a good stirring with the straw. It’s like having dessert before the meal.
It’s hard for me to pass up summer rolls ($6.95 per pair) when visiting anything remotely Vietnamese. I must say these are the largest I have ever eaten. They come in either pork or shrimp. Today’s order was shrimp. They are so fat you can hardly fit your mouth around them. Heavy on the greenery, I enjoyed them but would rather have had a smaller roll. The shrimp were swallowed by the rest of it. The peanut sauce was very nice, though.
The Thai side of me couldn’t resist the soup. Tom Ka is a favorite of mine, but I was still reeling from the sugar buzz of the iced tea. If I’m eating Tom Ka, I don’t get much else. That coconut milk fills me up. Today I have a mountain of food to eat, so I went with the sister soup Tom Yum ($4.95). An excellent choice. I never ask for it too hot. These folks can light you up if they want to. Leave the tough guy attitude at the door. I love the flavor of lemongrass and cilantro in this soup. It comes in chicken or shrimp and I couldn’t resist the shrimp. And nice sizeable shrimp they were.
My Japanese taste buds were craving a bit of sushi. Spider roll ($12.95) was a good recommendation from my waiter when I requested something that wasn’t humongous. It was still larger than I expected. Slightly gritty, but that comes with the territory of soft shell crab and nori. A very enjoyable roll, I was as fond of the roe as I was the rest of the dish. It is nice they serve both low sodium and full strength soy sauce. That’s a trend I am enjoying, preferring the lower salt.
For the entrée of the evening I couldn’t resist going Thai again. The rice dinner with cashew nuts and seafood ($9.95) was an excellent value. That sure is a lot of food for a ten spot. The shrimp and scallops were the star of the show, but the vegetables came in a close second, notably some delicious chunks of carrot.
I had some of just about everything to take home, and I was stuffed to the gills. Portions are not a problem for those who like leftovers. I was not displeased with anything that day. Service was great, and the food was really good. Good enough to return to try some of the other dishes they may feel are their specialty.
One dish I am kicking myself for not trying is the soft shell crab tempura appetizer. It’s a tower of soft shell goodness and vegetables. I don’t think I’ve ever had soft shell crab whole in a tempura batter. I also hear the Katsu is very good. It’s worth mentioning that these guys have a catch of the day, ranging from snapper to mahi. There are just so many things to try that it will take me a while to get through all I want to sample.
The final word on Three Flavors is it has my attention. The price is right. The portions are good. The staff helpful and friendly. The food was definitely quality. While I didn’t have any real complaints there wasn’t much that jumped out at me.
Fans of this place are rabid, and I found my meal enjoyable despite a lack of award winning dishes. I will recommend it for sure, but I will be back to try some of the off-the-beaten-path items to see what all the fuss is about.