Well, I'm back after a ridiculously long hiatus. Here are the best excuses I could come up with for my absence: work has been demanding, I'm back in school - and omg, I got married... so I'm no longer a "party of one". (aaaand I haven't decided what to do about the blog name. I still kinda like it.)
My daughter and I went to dinner last night, as it was our last night before classes resumed from the holiday break. A few months ago I had the pleasure of eating Thai House delivery with a friend and haven't been able to stop thinking about the mango and sticky rice ever since. Last night, E and I decided it was time to go. Mommy/daughter date, she said, and off we went.
We walked in a little after 5pm and were promptly seated by a tall young man with a nose ring and gauges in his ears. As a mother of a nose-pierced daughter and a tattooed son, this didn't faze me in the least, but I felt it was worth mentioning because having worked in the restaurant biz, I know that some customers can be taken aback by these sorts of things. Our server motioned us to the seating area and asked us to sit wherever we liked.
I chose a two seater by the window (which in retrospect was a bad idea because it was freakin' cold outside, but we managed to make it through the meal just fine.) We were the only patrons in the restaurant, although the servers seemed busy with take-out and delivery orders.
We immediately ordered two Thai iced coffees and an order of fried tofu. The iced coffees were fantastic, the tofu was in a sort of tempura batter and fairly flavorless, (I am admittedly not a huge fan of tofu, but I was being a good sport) but the sweet and sour dipping sauce was very good. E decided that it was the perfect appetizer to prepare our palates for the main courses.
We decided to share a salad, so ordered Som tum, which the menu describes as green papaya, carrot, string beans and cherry tomatoes with peanuts tossed with spicy lime dressing. The salad was wonderful, fresh and tangy and beautifully presented. It smelled horrible, however. I've never had food that smelled disgusting but tasted so fantastic. We looked at recipes online to try to discover what the offending smell was, and determined it could have been mashed dried shrimp or some sort of fish sauce. We managed to get past the odor though, and the flavor was incredible. Don't let the smell fool you!
For our entrees, I selected the Ginger Chicken, which was wok-fried chicken with fresh ginger, onion, scallion and cashew nuts. Warning - there were mushrooms involved too, but just go to dinner with a mushroom loving companion and you'll be fine. The mushrooms were large enough to pick out easily. The meal was served with a side of white rice.
E chose a vegetarian option and went with the Basil Eggplant. It was comprised of Chinese eggplant, Thai basil, tofu, bell pepper and onions in a Thai chili paste, also served with a side of white rice.
Our server asked us what heat level we wanted, on a scale of one to five. We both chose a two. Two was plenty. Both of our meals were perfectly spiced, the chicken was very tender, the sauce flavorful. E enjoyed her eggplant as well and had enough to bring home for lunch the following day.
More people started to straggle into the restaurant about half way through our meal, I believe by the time we were ready for dessert there were three or four other tables, most of whom seemed like regulars.
For dessert, we shared one order of mango and sticky rice. It was as heavenly as I'd remembered. The rice was in a heart shape with the prepared mango fanned out next to it. It was sweet, mild and comforting, and the perfect ending to a delicious meal. I was so excited about eating it that I didn't have the presence of mind to take a photo of the lovely presentation. My bad. Now we have to go back.
We paid just over $43 (not including tip) for the two of us - with two specialty coffees, an appetizer, a salad, two entrees and a dessert. I think that was pretty affordable for the amount of food we had.
All in all, it was a really nice evening out with my nineteen year old daughter. We chatted, laughed, and ate some really great food. Will we go back? Absolutely. And you should try it out, too.
26 Doc Stone Rd. Stafford, VA 22556.