Thai Tanic restaurants

From the annals of goofy commercial names, in this case a Thai restaurant name that seems to be intended to project both playfulness — the name is a pun — and power, as in the model for the pun, the adjective titanic ‘of exceptional strength, size, or power’ (NOAD). Thai food that will blow you away.

What makes it goofy is the unfortunate echo of the proper noun Titanic; from NOAD:

a British passenger liner, the largest ship in the world when it was built and supposedly unsinkable, that struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage in April 1912 and sank with the loss of 1,490 lives.

I was made aware of the restaurant name by a Susan Fischer Facebook posting yesterday; she was passing on, from others on the net, this restaurant image:

(#1) Not identified in its net appearances, but this is a real Thai restaurant, not a piece of digital art or photoshopping: Thai Tanic at 1326 14th St NW, Washington DC (near Logan Circle)

Commenter on this image, someone who got the ship echo: This restaurant is going down.

Thai Tanics. In fact, there turn out to be Thai Tanic / ThaiTanic restaurants all over the world, though as far as I can tell, they are especially dense in the New England region of the United States.

Sausalito. But first, what looks to be the Thai Tanic closest to me, Thai Tanic Street Food (“Authentic Bangkok Style Street Food”), 1001 Bridgeway St in Sausalito CA (in Marin County, just north of San Francisco):

(#2) An unsharp photo of a picturesque spot

From the restaurant’s website:

In September 2017 ThaiTanic Street Food restaurant was launched to bring the authentic flavors of Thailand to Sausalito.  Located on Sausalito’s scenic Bridgeway Street, ThaiTanic hosts the world famous Bangkok style street food comprised of flavorful rices, noodles, curries,  sautéed dishes, barbecue, soups and salads.

The New England cluster. I don’t see any in Maine or Rhode Island, but:

Thai Tanic Cuisine in Meriden CT; Thai Tanic in Plainville MA; Thai Tanic beer garden and Thai restaurant in Nashua NH; Thai Tanic in Newport VT

Two other US Thai Tanics.

Thai Tanic  & -18°F  (“Boba Tea, Pho & Thai Kitchen”) in Sterling Heights MI (a core suburb of Detroit); Thai Tanic in Destin FL (on the coast in the Florida Panhandle)

Three international Thai Tanics.

Thai Tanic in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Thai Tanic take away in Gothenburg, Sweden; Five Stars Thaitanic, Thai cuisine at three locations in Sydney NSW, Australia

No doubt there are more. These have prominent net presences.

Context context context. The net is full of contextless, sourceless, bits of stuff — images and text — that are amusing, or delightful, or bizarre, in some way interesting. Some of this stuff is genuine, and (with some industry) can be identified and placed in context, as I’ve done with the photo in #1; as I said above,

Not identified in its net appearances, but this is a real Thai restaurant, not a piece of digital art or photoshopping

Some of it is image or text that’s been tweaked to make it notable (by, say, changing the wording on a sign to make it funny or alarming) or to convey some message (darkening the skin of a Black political candidate to make them seem more African  and less American).

Some of it is image or text that is largely bricolage, or entirely created from scratch.

There’s a place for alterations, pastiches, inventions from whole cloth, and all that stuff — these can be art forms in their own right — so long as it’s clear what’s  going on.

But if you present it as real, then you should tell us enough about the source of the material and about its content that we can feel comfortable in accepting your claims.

Beyond this, I prefer to see lots of information about the context of the material. Which is why I tell you about the locations of the Thai Tanic places and about the towns they’re in (sometimes I provide maps and add information about the social context).

3 Responses to “Thai Tanic restaurants”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Rod Williams on Facebook:

    The Thai Tanic restaurant in Belfast probably has the best claim on the name, since that’s where the Titanic was built, at the Harland & Wolff shipyard there. There is now a huge and wildly touristed Titanic museum in Belfast.

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    There’s a Thai restaurant on Jersey Street in Boston (a few blocks from Fenway Park) named “Thaitation”, which I presume is supposed to reflect “Thai” + “temptation”, but it always makes me think of “titration”, which is not an idea that I would normally associate with a restaurant.

    Local-friends note: This restaurant is on the site of (and has a very similar menu to) the former Brown Sugar, a favorite of Dean & FJ when they lived in the Fenway, to the point where they were on a first-name basis with the owner.

  3. Sim Aberson Says:

    A Thai restaurant in Wilton Manors (gay central) is called Thai Me Up. I’ve never been, but their website shows that they have drag shows and other camp events.

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