His Story: Too Tired to Cook
While driving down I-40 on our way home from the Mebane Tanger Outlets, Chelsea, who had spent the last several hours looking at everything, and buying nothing, turns to me and says that she doesn’t want to cook. It was Sunday evening, a day generally reserved to fight hangovers and eat a big breakfast, was spent, among other household chores, mowing the grass and taking Chelsea shopping.
“I’m not cooking tonight. Do you want to go out?” she asked. Cooking and cleaning up this Sunday night was not what I wanted to do with my time. We settled on going to one of our favorite spots, Bangkok Café off Holden Road in Greensboro.
Tucked away in a strip mall that is sandwiched between a Mexican convenience store and a ceramic tile store, Bangkok Café manages to stand out among the many Asian restaurants in the Triad.
We walk in and were quickly greeted by the owner with a big smile, “Hello, how are you?” she said in a distinct Thai accent as she points to an empty table. She begins to banter with another couple, poking fun in an endearing way. She disappears after taking another table’s order, shouting orders to the cook as the swinging door to the kitchen opens and closes. Chelsea and I decide to start with the Chicken Satay, marinated chicken skewers served with delicious peanut sauce, as a sweet finish to the savory chicken seasoned with curry, and garlic.
“Ready to order?” the owner asks, as she clears our plates. (I save the peanut sauce for later.) I ordered Kee Meo Goong-Gai, a dish made with wide rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, chicken, peppers, onions, basil, all cooked in a spicy basil sauce.
As our food arrived, Chelsea was offered chopsticks, and I was not, although I would say the owner’s prejudice was justified by the way I butchered the Thai language.
The noodles were cooked until soft, but with chew that provided texture against the crisp sautéed vegetables, and pan sautéed chicken and shrimp. The herbaceous basil added sweetness beside the spicy chilies that permeated the basil sauce which wrapped around each tender bite of chicken, shrimp, and chewing noodles.
Chelsea ordered Ba Mee Moo Dang, with chicken cooked in a broth placed over yellow egg noodles, bean sprouts, and topped with a succulent roasted pork. It was garnished with fresh cilantro, scallions and garlic. Chelsea guarded the bowl for the majority of our dinner, similar to a dog gnawing on a bone, only coming up for air, and to make the occasional sound of satisfaction. By the little I was able to try, it was delectable. The chicken broth embodied that of most Asian soups; flavor and not overwhelming spice, and was the perfect home for the chewy noodles. (Picture ramen noodles meets a big bowl of herbaceous pho.)
Although simplistic in its preparation, the food served at Bangkok Café forms flavor untouched by restaurants at much higher price point. A must try, if only to get the Curry Pods, (which they were unfortunately out of Sunday,) a $2.50 domestic beer, and to experience the appreciation the owner shows each guest who fills a seat.
Visit: Bangkok Café Address: 1203 S Holden Rd, Greensboro, NC 27407 Hours: Sunday 11AM–8PM; Monday-Friday 11AM–2:30PM and 4:30–9PM; Saturday 11AM–10PM