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Thai Tip – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Thai Tip on Wyoming just north of Constitution

Although short in stature, gregarious Tippewan “Tip” Sherrod, for whom Thai Tip is named, is as dynamic and passionate a restaurateur as you’ll meet in Albuquerque. If she’s not inundated with hungry patrons, she might take time out to recount her background as a midwife in her native Thailand as she extols the healthy qualities of Thai food. While she takes your order she might just tell you about the curative and healthful properties of your particular choice.

30 April 2005: The Thom Kha Kai (a traditional Thai soup based on coconut milk with the sweet scented spicing that comes from lemon grass and galganal, (a root similar to ginger), for example, is good for high-blood pressure. It’s also good for a hearty appetite. Served in a large tureen, you’ll ladle onto a bowl such ingredients as broken lime leaves, coriander, chili peppers, mushrooms and lime juice. The tanginess of the lime juice and the sweet, rich creaminess of the coconut milk are in perfect proportions to make for an aromatic and delectable soup. Tip’s version is among the very best in town and best of all, it’s prepared to order.

Spring Rolls and Thai Iced Coffee

30 April 2005: Tip is adamant about fresh food and doesn’t believe in pre- or re-heating. I don’t recall Tip’s explanation for what ailment Massaman (spelled mas su maan on the menu) curry can alleviate, but it certainly cured my hunger. Massaman curry is a Thai Muslim curry with flavors reminiscent of some sweeter Indian curries. It requires gentle, slow cooking and melds such ingredients as red curry, coconut milk, potatoes, onions and roasted peanuts. The aroma of a truly great Massaman curry is intoxicating while the flavors captivate your taste buds with contrasts of sweet and savory notes. At Thai Tip, the Massaman is a great one.

You can specify the degree of “heat” you want on many of your entrees. The intrepid diner might opt for “New Mexico hot” while those with asbestos-lined taste buds might opt for “Thai hot” which didn’t faze me during our inaugural visit (though during my second visit, the “New Mexico” hot brought healing tears of joy (at least that’s all I’ll admit to) to my eyes). Further confirmation of Tip’s “heart healthy” attitude is shown in the way she shapes the rice which accompanies your entrees–like a Valentine’s Day heart.

Pineapple Curry

You might notice that there was a span of more than ten years in between my first and second visits to Thai Tip. In no way should that be construed as my not having liked this extremely popular Thai restaurant. While we thoroughly enjoyed our inaugural experience, it’s not open for lunch on Saturdays when errands occasionally bring us to this part of town. During the interim between visits, friends and colleagues certainly let me know a second visit was long overdue.

30 April 2005: A nice introduction to Tip’s style is the assorted Thai appetizers menu item which includes two egg rolls, two chicken satay skewers, two fried dumpling pot stickers stuffed with chicken and vegetables, and two deep-fried wontons stuffed with ground pork and mixed with a touch of black pepper and potato. This appetizer menagerie is served with a mild peanut sauce and Tip’s own egg roll sauce which is a cloying, syrupy sauce with peanuts. My preference would have been for a more traditional cucumber sauce or for more chili (at least New Mexico hot) to have been added to either of the sauces.

1 September 2015: For a more singularly focused appetizer, you can’t beat Thai Tip’s spring rolls, two translucent rice wraps engorged with shredded lettuce, noodles, grated carrots, julienne cucumbers and shrimp. They’re roughly the size of a baby’s arm, so large that a woman in a nearby table couldn’t eat her entree after having filled up on the spring rolls. Served with a sweet-piquant (mostly sweet) sauce, these spring rolls aren’t just large in terms of size, they’re imbued with strong notes of freshness and flavor.

1 September 2015: During a recent deliberation on the qualities of Pad Thai (a dish I find mundane, but which he loves), my friend Ryan “Break the Chain” Scott admitted he’s only experienced transcendent Pad Thai once and it was at Thai Tip. Much as I love and respect my friend, not even his sage recommendation was enough to get me to order Pad Thai…especially when there’s pineapple curry (red curry, shrimp, bell peppers coconut milk and pineapple) on the menu. If you’re worried about the combination of coconut milk and pineapple rendering this dish cloying, you need not be, especially if you order the dish New Mexico hot. And it’s not that the chili obfuscates the inherent sweetness of other ingredients or that it numbs you (remember, in the Land of Enchantment, pain is a flavor), the heat serves as a balancing agent between sweet and savory ingredients. This is an excellent curry!

Even fire-eaters will need something to cool their blistered tongues after consuming an inferno-hot entree at Thai Tip. Thai iced coffee (sweetened imported coffee over crushed ice mixed with half and half) does the trick nicely. Not only that, it’s a delicious, hearty coffee for those of us who like our coffee as strong as our chile.

Thai Tip is far too good a restaurant for ten years to elapse between visits. With an improved employment proximity to this terrific Thai restaurant, look for me to make up for lost time.

Thai Tip
1512 Wyoming, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 323-7447

LATEST VISIT: 1 September 2015
1st VISIT: 30 April 2005
COST: $$
BEST BET: Thom Kha Soup; Massaman Curry, Pineapple Curry, Spring Rolls, Thai Iced Coffee

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Category: Albuquerque, Thai
  • Drew Einhorn says:

    “You can specify the degree of “heat” you want on many of your entrees. The intrepid diner might opt for “New Mexico hot” while those with asbestos lined mouths might opt for “Thai hot” which personally I like. ”

    Actually they have 4 published heat ratings: Mild, Medium, New Mexico Hot, and Thai Hot.

    In addition there are 7 unpublished heat levels Thai Hot +1, through Thai Hot +7.

    Depending on who is waiting on the table, and how well they know you, the waiter may discourage you from ordering anything beyond Medium.

    So far I have only been there a few times, and have not tried anything beyond Thai Hot +1.
    We generally order one dish for my 5 year old grandson with no chile, medium for most everyone else in the family. My son in law and I are going to try Thai Hot +2 next time.

    Everything has been great, regardless of how hot it is!

    December 4, 2009 at 4:10 PM
  • Jim Millington says:

    Even though Thai Tip has been there seven years I had never heard of it until today. I find most Thai restaurants disappointing, including those in Thailand, but have always liked Krung Thai and the place I always called Rabbit Thong until its hope of being upscale Thai were dashed under no customers with resulting seafood no longer fresh. Today I had the Pineapple Curry, Thai hot. Loved it. My new favorite.

    April 28, 2011 at 7:34 PM
  • martin says:

    Went to Thai Tip today. It was just OK. We had the pineapple curry which was way, way too sweet. Mossaman was just OK. My dad had the Thai chicken chow mein. That was like Chinese and was the best of the dishes. We also had a coconut Tom Kha soup. Too sweet for my taste. I see Urbanspoon and Yelp gave it 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Do not agree with that.

    November 8, 2011 at 6:56 PM
  • Crutch says:

    Thai Tip is wonderful. From the Thai coffee to the Potstickers to the Egg Rolls to the Pad Thai; the servings are huge and food is wonderful. Tried the New Mexico Hot on Pad Thai a few weeks ago and while it was tasty, it was almost too hot for me. I always go with my team from work and have never had a bad meal. It is now one of my fav restaurants in the ‘Burque.

    July 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM
  • Ryan Scott says:

    Thanks for the shout out, my friend!
    The Tom Kha soup is also excellent. I’ve never had the spring rolls, so now they are next on my list!

    September 3, 2015 at 11:46 AM

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