There are a few Thai Basil restaurants around the Valley, and we often hit up the location off University Drive in Tempe. They have a great menu for the lunchtime crowd, featuring different curry or noodle dishes for only $6.95 if you order with tofu, chicken or beef.
Besides that, the neighborhood ambiance has a great homey feeling for any work break. With regulars that live nearby filtering in and out and interacting with the friendly staff, the Thai Basil University location is easily the best for people watching and even meeting a new friend over some cheap eats.
Find out what's for lunch at Thai Basil under $10 after the jump.
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Starting off, almost immediately after being seated, our waitress brough over a glass of water and a small cup of complimentary veggie soup. We weren't expecting it, but on a chilly day, it's much appreciated to be met with free soup. We also opted for a pot of hot green chai tea, which is a great way to unwind in the middle of a stressful work day.
For our main meal we got the pad-see-ew with tofu. You don't have to be a meat-hating vegetarian to get down on the tofu at Thai Basil because they cook it just right to give it the flavor and texture the normally blobby, smushy, flavorless protein lacks. The spicy, sweet noodles and crisp veggies are a great culinary getaway from the mundane pizza or sandwich lunch regulars. Plus, you get a crunch little spring roll on the side.
Our tea, soup, egg roll and noodle dish certainly hit the spot and it came out to $9.75. Since you really should tip, which would bring the total over $10, you can cut out the tea to keep your total lower. If you don't tip, don't expect to become one of those regulars that the staff greets so happily.