Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lemongrass Thai – Brooklyn Park, MN

I haven’t been on a culinary adventure with RubyVita in MONTHS, so we decided to make it happen. I know she’s been here before, but I had been meaning to make the trek up north to Lemongrass one of these days. When she suggested it, I didn’t put up much of a fight. It’s in kind of a strip mall set back from the road, so the place isn’t easy to find. Thankfully, I had the GPS machine and it took me right there.

There’s a very energetic host that greets you at the door. He’s super friendly and good at what he does. After scouring the rather lengthy and diverse menu, RubyVita and I had it narrowed down. We wanted some appetizers and some major meal fixins. The menu itself has a ton of things on it. Not just Thai stuff, but some rice dishes, but some Pho as well. It’s pretty diverse and it was difficult to decide.

We waited for a pretty long time to get waited on after we got initially seated, so I don’t think they’re in a big hurry here. RubyVita wanted a Diet Coke and it took almost 15 minutes to get it – very weird and frustrating. I wanted to try the Fresh Spring Rolls, but so did RubyVita. So I let her get those (under the condition that I get a piece of one) and I got the #8, which is Sai-Oua E-Sane (a fresh homemade sausage filled with ground pork, chopped lemongrass and spices). I’m curious what E-Sane actually means since there’s an awesome and deadly Thai place Called EE-Sane in Milwaukee and I love it. I decided on the Buddha’s Belly for my entrée and RubyVita went with the Lemongrass Spaghetti.

The Spring Rolls came out first and actually looked well wrapped and fresh and colorful. They came with the thinner sauce (not the usual hoissin sauce) with crushed peanuts in it. I was given my allotted one piece and dove right into it. It was really good. Better than a lot of places I’ve tried recently. It was well wrapped – tight but not bursting – and I couldn’t have been happier.

Another 5 minutes went by and the Sai-Oua E-Sane came out. This sausage had a really tough casing on it and was filled with pretty course pork meat. I know those are two things people have issue with when eating sausage. I don’t have issue with it and I loved it. These things are really spicy too, so be prepared for that. RubyVita had warned me that this place doesn’t mess around with the spice-levels. They don’t realize they’re in Minnesota and no one can handle the heat. But these sausages were really good. Honestly, I could have done very well with about half of the amount they brought out, but I wasn’t going to complain since it meant I got to take some home with me. It comes with a dipping sauce that has all kinds of cilantro and chili pepper seeds floating in it. Again, RubyVita warned me (what would I do without her!?) that this sauce is incredibly salty, and she was dead right. Probably one of the saltiest sauces I’ve ever had. Not even sure what it was. It was good, but I like salty things. Normal people don’t.

The main dishes came out and we beamed like kids on a snow day. The Buddha’s Belly is spinach pasta on steamed vegetables and chicken breast pieces topped with a sweet and spicy curry sauce and covered with crunchy noodles. I commented that it looked like a blonde head sitting in a bowl with all the noodles. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it would be hot – there was a pepper next to it on the menu – a sure sign you’re in for a treat. It was fantastic. One of the best Thai dishes I’ve ever had. I really liked the flavor, the crunchy noodles, the soft noodles, the spice level, the chicken pieces, and the amount of food. Everything about this dish was great. I let RubyVita try some and she agreed (through some sniffles) that it was fantastic.

I know I make fun of Minnesotans and their aversion to spice, but to offer spaghetti in a Thai place is almost an insult. Or so I thought. But honestly, it was really tasty. It had a spicy garlic ground beef marinara sauce, shrimp, mushrooms and basil. I thought it would be boring spaghetti, but it really wasn’t. It had some kick to it, but it wasn’t plain spaghetti at all. I stand corrected. You win, RubyVita. I won’t mock you for your ordering prowess… however, it’s clear mine was leaps and bounds better than the Lemon Grass Spaghetti.

We ended up waiting a while for a lot of things, refills, how our food was, to-go containers, a bag for the to-go containers, etc. So aside from the slow and inattentive service (which I can generally deal with for this good of food), the meal was great. RubyVita and I got caught up on our lives, which is always fun, since she’s hilarious. I’ll try to get back into the regular rotation of going out for fun food with her soon, especially now that the school semester is winding down. We’ll see how that goes. I will be back to Lemongrass Thai, without question.

Top 5 things about Lemongrass Thai
1. Buddha’s Belly
2. Fresh Spring Rolls
3. Really diverse and large menu
4. Lemongrass Spaghetti
5. It’s really nicely decorated inside

Bottom 5 things
1. Super slow service
2. It’s in Brooklyn Park, which is halfway to Canada, I’m certain
3. Bad location set back behind a bunch of other buildings
4. They close at 8pm most nights. Seems early
5. Be READY for the spiciness, Minnesota. I loved it, but I have to warn you – they’re serious

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

why couldnt I have gotten the one that enjoys different types of food? My "wife" thinks exciting food is putting cheese on a hot dog along with 1/2 a bottle of ketchup.