Yes, The Bloated Belly soldiers on. Through great floods of alcohol and avalanches of food, the remaining crew at HQ do remember that there is a blog floating out there, and, when inspired, muster the energy once in a while to drop in a review.
And, inspired we were one recent Friday, escaping the office doldrums for a meal.
Eh. Maybe. But you definitely should. Inside is some of the best Thai food you will ever—and that’s EVER—eat, short of visiting Thailand. Crazy claim? Perhaps. I’m still taken aback by the sausages I ate.
Them things that look like sausages are the sausages. The rest of it is “pad prig,” green beans, onions and garlic sautéed in a black bean sauce. That was also outstanding, but not all that I and Harold—yes, you remember Harold, a contributor (although I’m not sure that term can be used anymore, the lazy drunk) to this here Bloated Belly blog.
Harold is a huge fan of this place, and had suggested it as our Friday lunch destination in the past, but time or cravings never quite allowed for it. Glad we finally went. I am now a huge fan of this place, which distresses me somewhat, since I’ve been a fierce loyalist to Pad Thai Grand Café in St. Paul. I suppose that won’t change, since that joint is close to my house.
But everything we tried at Lemon Grass was so…bright, for lack of a better term. Can something be both intricate and simple? Flavors were fresh and balanced, the meals substantive without heaviness.
We started with the “crazy duck” salad, boneless, minced barbecued duck spiced with cilantro, red onions, scallion, chili powder and fresh mint. That’s what the menu said. But there was also hunks of strawberry in there. It was absolutely one of the most memorable dishes I’ve tried this year, spicy and sweet, and again, the lightness of everything. Wow.
And then those sausages. From the appetizer list, called “nuea sawan,” the sausages are made in-house, made simply with dried beef seasoned with garlic and ginger and other spices. I will be returning just to purchase a pile of those.
Those two items would have been enough for lunch, and our friendly server even suggested she could bring out a bowl of sticky rice and make a meal of it. How’s that for service? She wasn’t trying to run up the bill.
Nah, Harold wanted leftovers, and after those that first round, I did, too. I wanted to try that pad prig, and stack it up against Pad Thai Grand Café’s version.
Where Pad Thai’s is more of a minced-type “sauce,” it’s also heavier on the garlic. Lemon Grass is lighter, more liquid, but equally flavorful—just different. And excellent.
I recall Harold opted for the drunken noodles with chicken—stir fried noodles with basil, tomato, chilli and eggs. Harold devoured half of it like a champ, before settling into his chair and moaning. He had his leftovers. We both did.
Outstanding, and worth the drive.
Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine
8600 Edinburgh Centre Drive