Off-Campus Cuisine:

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Longtail Kitchen

By Jamal Al-Bayaa, Staff Writer

When you walk into Longtail for your first time, you may wait awkwardly by the front door until you realize that there aren’t any servers in the small, 20-seat restaurant.

There are just two chefs, a menu, and a cash register. Ordering food at Longtail is the same as ordering food at McDonald’s, but luckily the quality of the food and its plating is much better at the local restaurant.

A pad thai dish and a yellow curry dish both came beautifully presented and brought directly to my table, since I was eating in. I could tell this is really a place that encourages takeout, since my plates were actually cardboard boxes for the pad thai, and a disposable bowl for the yellow curry.

The yellow curry was full of flavour with a hint of spice, and it was topped with firm baby corn and mussels that were delicious and tender when I bit into them. The pad thai was excellent, every bite representing the flavours of Thailand in a quick and easy to enjoy dish.

Longtail has amazing food, but ultimately it suffers from the same thing that all my favorite Thai restaurants suffer from—poor service.

White table cloths and server uniforms are replaced with simple food at a cheap price, designed to make you feel like you’re taking a break from the formalities of life, instead of getting swept up in them. The relaxed atmosphere lets you know that if you want anything, all you have to do is walk up and ask, instead of waiting impatiently and wondering why no one has come to your table. That kind of honesty is refreshing. “Love me or leave me,” Longtail says. And the food is good enough that they don’t care which one you pick.

This is food that you really should take home—or to school, or just to the food court in the Quay. Eating in is a cramped experience where you’re not quite sure what to do.

I think it’s all worth it, though. What you lose in atmosphere you immediately gain in mobility and comfort. This stuff makes a great lunch. More importantly, you save on the cost. Dishes max out at $13 for a meaty curry, and you can expect to spend no more than $25 on a light dinner for two.