Monday, June 27, 2011

New Spiciness in Jackson Ward

The best part of the morphing restaurant/food cart trend is that the food is not an issue.

Whether it's Kenn-Tico opening a restaurant to showcase their popular MCV cart or Olio adding a cart at VCU (and soon a second restaurant), the only potential problems were in the execution of the space/cart. The food was already well-executed and popular.

Add to the list Jackson Ward's newest eatery, Thai Corner, a spinoff of the popular Thai Cabin food cart downtown.

Yes, we J-Ward residents, already a lucky lot, have another new place to chow down.

Second Street, with Nate's Tacos and Ettamae's and now Thai Corner is becoming quite the little dining destination and the neighborhood couldn't be happier about it.

A favorite Leigh Street neighbor joined me at Thai Corner today for lunch and a look-see.

One of my favorite architectural features of the 'hood is all the corner commercial spaces and this one has been renovated beautifully.

The bar, fronted with bamboo and with a rock and "jewel" crusted lip, sits waiting for the beer and wine license to come.

Large red and black shades hang over it. Nearby a wooden figure of a woman stands guard.

Bamboo also lines the back walls and paper screens sit in front of them. Fabric is draped from rods on the ceiling, which gives a warmth to the space (and painted tin ceiling).

The menu is fairly long and includes specialties from the cart.

I was a little surprised to see tangy chicken wings and cheese wontons, but satisfied with a noodle section, stir fry noodles, curry dishes, fried rice and house specialties.

My friend got a cart specialty of crispy tilapia in green curry sauce with rice; the spicy sauce with hints of coconut milk was made even better with Kieffer lime leaves from the owners' own plant (they move it indoors during winter).

My Thai beef salad was an enormous serving of spicy-marinated beef over lettuce, onion, tomato and slivered cucumbers with a liberal scattering of cilantro. It couldn't have tasted any fresher.

We shared until both plates were licked clean, knowing that Thai Corner is only open for lunch right now (albeit a long lunch, 11-4:00) and that we probably won't get back in the next couple of weeks.

But we'll definitely be back. Carytown may be overrun with Thai places, but sometimes a girl just wants to stay in the neighborhood when she craves spiciness.

Or when she needs to rest her feet on the bamboo footrail of a bar.

Where else but in J-Ward?

No comments:

Post a Comment