09 March, 2011

Chugga, Chugga; TOOT, TOOT! ALL Aboard!!

If you've ever been to Montgomery, AL there is a VERY good chance you've heard of a place called Lek's Railroad Thai.  I wasn't even HERE in Montgomery yet and friends were telling me "You HAVE to go to Lek's!  It is REALLY the BEST Thai I've ever had."  Being a military wife, my friends are largely active duty military people and their spouses that travel the world as part of their job and military lifestyle.  So of course, hearing a comment like that really gets me interested.  I think to myself..."Wow, they've traveled ALL over the stinkin' place and they are tellin' me the BEST Thai is in Alabama??  Jump back!"

After just a small amount of local research I discovered Lek's name is on PLENTY of people's lips as a "MUST eat" when you're here; even for an overnight trip.  Located in the heart of downtown Montgomery, on Water Street; Lek's shares space in the historic Union Station building with the Visitor's Center for the City of Montgomery.  Personally, I find that rather telling.  When you share a space with a bureau that is meant to enlighten and direct visitors towards the BEST their city has to offer, you're a big deal.

When we walked in I went to work talking to the owner.  I wanted to make sure I was going to be eating the very best of what Lek's had to offer.  Their menu was detailed and had a wonderful variety of representative Thai dishes.  He directed me towards their spring rolls and Pad Thai.  He explained to me I may find it was a tad on the wet side, but that was in response to customer feedback over a long period of time.  He was VERY gracious and humble as he talked with me and my Mister about his food; then, gave me carte blanche to walk where I may and take pictures of his beautiful establishment.

Fountain at the Entrance


Specials Board

Beautiful Tables

Contemporary Bar Area

Wall Art

Room Decor

I ordered spring rolls, Tom Kha and Pad Thai.  I was really in the mood for something fried so before he even recommended the rolls, they were on the list.  Before we came in I could smell rain in the air, when I smell rain my tummy says "Soup, please?", so a cup of Tom Kha was added.

Spring Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce

Tom Kha

The spring rolls were crispy, refreshing and the black pepper really gave them a bold feel to balance against the sweet peanut dipping sauce.  They were a very nice compliment to the meal as a whole, so the recommendation was appreciated.

My Tom Kha was....magical.  There were so MANY flavor layers going on, but I could easily deconstruct it with my palate.  There was a constant sweet from the coconut milk that was tamed by the scallions, lemon grass and tangy slices of tomato and hint of lime.  After eating it I wished I would have left if for my dessert.  It was SO creamy and fabulous.  A DEFINITE must for anyone that likes a fine, sophisticated soup to compliment their meal.  Ordering only a cup rather than a whole bowl was a great idea; a tease, but satisfying.  My mouth was on edge waiting to try my Pad Thai!

Pad Thai w/ Chicken

Side of Rice

I weighed my spice options very carefully when ordering this dish.  I had a bad experience before with spice scale at another Thai place in Ohio, so when discussing their spice scale with the owner I decided on "medium".  I LOVE spice, but I didn't want it to turn into all out WAR between some of the other typical, strong flavors in Pad Thai.  I chose wisely.  The spice was perfect and stayed in the background where it belonged.  It complimented the sprouts so well and really brought out the natural flavor of the egg (which was a pleasant surprise).  I would have liked it more traditional with less sauce, but...with the rice to round it out, the extra sauce didn't stop me from absolutely adoring this dish.  I would order it again without a second thought.  Everything worked in conjunction with each other to create a really strong, pleasing and filling entree.  This is available with vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, seafood combination and also a combination of ALL 4 of the meats.  I believe this dish will perform just as solidly with vegetables alone; Pad Thai w/ Vegetables is how I'll order next time.  Yummy!

FINALLY!!  A Thai place that lived up to ALL the hype, all the GUSHING and all the praise I'd been hearing.  Lek's is a guaranteed Thai treat for the most discerning Asian palates.  A gem way down in the deep south of sweet Montgomery, Alabama.  If you happen to be staying for a day or two, stopping over for the night or even JUST driving through at the lunch or dinner hour, stop in and see what Lek's has to offer.  Thanks for the tip Jose & Amanda, we appreciate it.  Lek's was a real bright spot during our stay and a place we will be going every time we're here in Montgomery!

Lek's Railroad Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. What a great review! And speaking from experience, the Pad Thai with just vegetables is DEE-LISH! I always get the spring rolls and Pad Thai when I go and I'm never disappointed!

  2. hmmm i get hungryyy !^^

    greets, photonewt