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Another busy week at the office so we weren’t in the mood to make a meal, but also didn’t want to shell out 100 bucks. My wife wanted Asian so we opted for Thai food at Phenom on Northampton St in Easton. We’ve eaten there 3 or 4 times – the last being about a year ago. The food is adequate – some things are very tasty and the portions are good – but the overall experience always leaves me a bit disappointed. The service could be more professional. For example, my wife ordered a mojito and the waitress returned with what looked like a shirley temple. She said they didn’t have any mint but that there was mint flavoring in the rum. Huh? And how do the crushed maraschino cherries make it taste more like a mojito?

The menu is way too extensive. Like one of those Chinese restaurant menus with 200 items. “I’ll have the L72 with a side of R12.” And the menu is physically cheap-looking with yellowing paper inside flimsy plastic sleeves. I could understand not spending dough on menus if they changed frequently, but I honestly don’t think anything has changed since they opened several years ago.

All that being said, it’s a relaxing place to grab a bite which is just what we wanted on Friday. We really needed it after circling downtown Easton for 15 minutes looking for a parking space – a topic for a separate post. That we couldn’t find a space upped our anxiety level cuz that meant all the restaurants were likely packed, and we were not in the mood to wait for a table. That fear subsided when we arrived to find a nearly empty Phenom. Not a good sign, but i just wanted food and a drink asap.

I usually get a bottle or two of Singha (a Thai lager). We started with a plate of crispy chicken wings with a sweet plum glaze. Very good. For our entrées, my wife got a curry dish and I had the pad thai with pork. I haven’t eaten enough Thai to judge how well Phenom’s preparations stack up, but everything tasted fine to us. We saved room for dessert as we were both in the mood for ice cream – ginger, coconut, maybe red bean? Nope. They only had vanilla. Check, please.

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Just as we were finishing up, the jazz band, which had been taking a break, started a set. We’d noticed the instruments when we arrived but didn’t think to ask if there would be live music – too hungry to care i guess. I think they have music every Friday which is fun. Too bad there were only 10 people in the room to hear them. I really don’t get the lack of interest considering how packed the other restaurants probably were. You’d think there would be more than a little spillover? If Phenom could class up its act a bit and get the word out, they could easily be packed nightly. I see way worse restaurants with lines out the door. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Texas Roadhouse.

We do have to check out this other Thai place over on 2nd street. Saw some rave reviews online, but the place looks like it’s in a what used to be a residence. Sometimes it feels like your eating in a stranger’s living room. Low ceilings and paneling. Uck.

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