July 16, 2011

Okay, Rochester, Don't Screw This Up

First, two words: "DRUNKEN NOODLES."

Here in Rochester, Minn., I firmly believe the majority of residents have taste buds forged in the fires of Mt. Bland. If you like Perkins, Applebees, TGI Fridays, general fast food joints and the like, you'll largely be in dining heaven in Rochester.

Oh, there are some good eating outlets, such as "Victoria's" for Italian, "Hornitos" for Mexican, "Pho Tai" for Vietnamese, "Jenpachi" and "Osaka" for Japanese steakhouse cuisine and a few others, but generally this city is a culinary desert.

In particular, Rochester has been sorely limping along in the Thai food realm. For a time, there was "Phnom Penh" that had outstanding Thai and Cambodian food, and my wife and I wept bitterly when it had to close up shop because the steak and potatoes joint next to it sucked in all the patrons.

Today, however, there is a place called "Far East Fusion," a Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurant attempting to carve out an existence in a location where several BBQ joints have tried and failed to do the same. My wife and I ate there today for the first time, and we nearly wept with joy.

The appetizer spring rolls dipped in peanut sauce. . . heavenly.

The pad Thai. . . a traditional Thai taste treat executed with applause.

The chicken curry. . . a subtle taste with just a hint of heat, but both were outclassed by. . .

The drunken noodles. . . OH MY GOD, the drunken motherfappin' noodles; they need their own American state to govern the sheer amount of taste-bending awesome.

We ordered two appetizers, three main dishes and soft drinks and the bill only came to $35, which is more than reasonable, considering all the leftovers we carted home.

Seriously, this place is excellent, and we only tried the Thai spectrum of the menu. Chinese and Vietnamese options still await our for-now sated taste buds. Hopefully, the less-than-fortunate locale will shake its demons as people learn of this Thai toe-hold. If not, Rochester will once again prove it's suffering a taste bud lobotomy.

Posted by Ryan at July 16, 2011 08:02 PM | TrackBack

We went there a few weeks ago. The pho wasn't bad (hard to compare it to Pho Tai without doing a side-by-side comparison), the beef chow fan is decent, but the sweet and sour pork wasn't good... we liked the fried chicken wing appetizer, and the deep fried sweet potato was okay (didn't taste the shrimp though). Being Chinese, I am picky about Asian food :) We haven't tried the Thai food yet, now I want to try the drunken noodle! The only pad thai I had was at Chester's... which isn't on the menu anymore... enough said about that.

(I don't believe we have met - my husband is Justin and he goes to Jiujitsu with you at M.R.)

Posted by: christa at July 16, 2011 08:41 PM

Christa, to be fair, we've been starved for Thai in Rochester for about two years, so I may be over-excited.

We've had better pad-Thai, but it was good.

Drunken noodles were our fave, by far.

Posted by: Ryan at July 16, 2011 08:58 PM

Well we welcome any (even semi-) authentic / ethnic restaurants here! If you're going on to the cities, We went to On's Kitchen Thai Cuisine (1613 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN) recently and many people on food forum said it's quite authentic. I loved the curry crab (I love sea food, but it's the curry taste I really liked). Didn't try their pad Thai just because we already ordered too much food.

Posted by: christa at July 17, 2011 10:55 AM
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