I am a sucker for a good bowl of pad thai. It’s probably one of my favorite dishes ever. As I’ve said, I had the best pad thai I’ve ever eaten at Chaang Thai in West Virginia. But unfortunately, I can’t drive six hours to WV whenever I get a craving. So I have made it a personal mission to find the best gluten free pad thai in New Jersey. So far, Wild Bamboo is the top contender. But it’s not just the pad thai that’s good, everything else is too! They have a pretty decent sized gluten free menu, covering all the bases—appetizers, soups, salads, fried rice, curry, pad thai, “chinese classics,” and desserts. Here you can see the full menu, but you’d have to visit to see the full extent of gluten free offerings, since they aren’t all marked on the main menu. This is one of those places that I was so excited to find, and even more excited to eat at when I realized how delicious the food is! It’s in Pier Village right on the beach—what a great spot to be in! You could spend the day on the beach then pop in and get some lunch or dinner. In the warmer months, they have some outdoor seating so you can enjoy the nice weather with your meal.
First up is the appetizers. We ordered the Chicken Satay. So, I’m not really sure what happened, but our waiter said something was wrong or something happened and he brought us Chicken Lettuce Wraps and said the Satay was on the house. We didn’t really understand why, but hey, we got some free food so I won’t complain. The most confusing part was that the Lettuce Wraps weren’t on the gluten free menu, but he assured us that it was gluten free (which was confirmed by the fact that I didn’t feel like I was dying the next day). So the Lettuce Wraps were awesome, I loved them. I think they were even better than P.F. Changs’ lettuce wraps, which I also love very much. The Chicken Satay was pretty good too. I liked the peanut sauce a lot, but the chicken was coated in some curry flavors, and I’m not a huge lover of curry.
The first time we visited I wasn’t that hungry, so I got the Mandarin Salad and added grilled chicken. It was so yummy and really refreshing. I loved the little pops of juicy mandarin throughout the meal. The dressing was pretty tasty; it didn’t say what the dressing was in the description of the salad but I think it was the ginger dressing. There are only two things I would like to change about it. First, I wish the chicken was diced rather than sliced, because, as I’ve said before, I like to get a little of everything in each bite, and the sliced chicken makes that hard. Second, if I got this again I would get it without red onions. I’m really not a fan of red onions but I forgot to ask to omit them, and the flavor kind of took over the dish.
Now onto the most important part. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The Chicken Pad Thai! This is some seriously awesome Pad Thai. The flavor is amazing. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I still have to say that Chaang Thai’s pad thai is better, but this is definitely the next best thing. I think my favorite part about a pad thai (besides the flavor of the sauce of course) is the peanuts on top. It gives it a great crunch and a little contrasting texture. One of the best things about this Pad Thai is that it’s just as good left over. It reheats so well you would think it was freshly made. And I appreciate that in a meal, because that means I can eat it again and it will taste just as delicious!
I’ve also tried their Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, and my dad has gotten the Massaman Curry. I love the fried rice—pineapple in fried rice is one of the greatest ideas ever. It’s just so fantastic. My dad enjoyed the curry, but I can’t really comment on it because I was too focused on my pad thai to try it. Now, they also have some desserts, but I’ve never gotten around to trying them. Usually if I’m in the mood for dessert after my meal, we walk down a couple doors to The Corner Cafe & Bistro for some gelato. Overall, I love Wild Bamboo, and it is now my go to restaurant when I’m craving pad thai!
Have a restaurant suggestion for my next pad thai taste test? Tell me about it in the comments so I can give it a try!
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