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We hit Touch of Thai on 2nd St. in Easton again the other Friday night. We wanted someplace where we were sure to get a table and that wouldn’t break the bank as we had plans to visit Sette Luna with friends the next night. Plus my wife looooves their lemongrass soup and wouldn’t stop talking about it.

The handwritten sign on the door promoted a special dessert. We’ve never before encountered menu additions on the door. Hmmmmm. Now, the whole meal would simply be a big buildup to this mysterious sweet treat.

The damn soup. Yeah, it’s pretty good.

I started with these fried meat patties (can’t remember the name and they’re not listed on the online menu). They’re mostly pork, rice, onions and cilantro if i remember correctly. And with each being the size of a small hamburger patty, they’re really filling.

Some big entrées as usual. My wife’s included green mussels, veggies, sprouts and flat noodles. I ordered one of my faves – glass noodles, ground pork, veggies and peanuts on top of a big omelet. Sorry for not knowing the names. I usually rely on the online menus but Touch of Thai’s seems to be an abridged version.

Dessert. Finally! Their desserts always sizable so we imagined maybe half of a banana inside a mass of sticky rice all wrapped in a large banana leaf. As you can see, they were très petits. But don’t be fooled – the rice is sweetened and mixed with palm oil i believe which adds a lot of richness. The filling included what seemed to be beans in addition to the banana. Plus they were HOT. It was nice to enjoy them slowly and we were definitely satisfied with the small portion. Hope they start offering new specials cuz we’ll be back again soon i’m sure.

Just had a great meal at our favorite hidden gem in Easton – Touch of Thai. Two meal-worthy appetizers, two big entrées and a kickass dessert for maybe $40 (though the byob policy negated the drink tab). And the place was practically empty! I mean it’s great to be able to get a table with no wait but the place really deserves more bizness. Check out my earlier reviews if you’re interested.

My folks drove up Saturday to hang out and we decided to go out for an early dinner. They’d never had Thai food and I wanted to try Touch of Thai again to make sure it was worth my strong reco. We were the first ones there, but the dining room was half-filled by the time we left – a better crowd than they had the Friday evening when we first stopped in.

My folks had a bunch of questions about Thai food, but the menu had brief explanations of the dishes to make things easier. While we pondered the menu, we got to work on a couple bottles of wine. A white from Franklin Hill Vineyards flavored with kiwi and strawberry and a Mondavi Riesling. We have to try Franklin Hill’s more traditional offerings cuz they’re specialty fruit blends are too sweet. The Riesling was very good.

We started off with some vegetable spring rolls, fried crispy with a sweet chili dipping sauce, and the chicken skewers we enjoyed on our previous visit. My folks were liking everything so far. For the main course, my dad had a sweet and sour pork dish, my wife a curry, my mom the pad thai, and i had what was basically the pad thai with glass noodles. It was a huge plate of food, but i hadn’t eaten since breakfast and i wolfed it down. In fact, i don’t think anyone had leftovers – which is unusual for my mom and my wife.

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Amazingly we still had room for a little dessert – but little is not what we received. We figured we’d share the triple ice cream dish, though my pops went rogue and ordered the sticky rice and custard. Daring. The scoops of mango, ginger, and toasted coconut ice cream were ginormous, and the flavors and texture were top notch. I’m wondering if they get a local place like Purple Cow to mix them up special. The coconut was packed with toasted coconut and was the clear favorite.

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My dad was a bit stunned by the custard – it was a large slab with an odd yellow color. He had an eye on our ice cream so i decided to help him out and let him in on our frozen awesomeness. The custard wasn’t half-bad – kinda like a coconut custard but a bit more textural. Half the portion plus a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream would improve the dish.

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As we were finishing up, PA state rep. Robert Freeman arrived with a small group. He’s a lifelong Easton guy so he would know all the best spots – and i have to agree with him on Touch of Thai.

We got out of work about an hour late on Friday and knew it would be tough to get a table right away at Sette Luna (our default option). My wife brought up Touch of Thai on 2nd Street which I’d pitched to her after our last visit to Phenom. Perfect. No crowd, good reviews, and a new place to blog about.

We found a parking spot on Spring Garden and walked past the revamped Colonial pizza shop. We haven’t been in there since we lived downtown and it looks like they’ve remodeled the whole place, including the lower level. The place was hoppin’ and even had outside seating. Definitely a place to re-try.

A quick right onto 2nd Street and we were at Touch of Thai – set back from the street a bit so you could miss it if you drive by too quickly. Just as I’d suspected, the restaurant is in what used to be a 1st floor apartment. We’ve eaten in places like that several times and it’s always kinda strange – low ceilings, creaky floors, small windows, tight floor plan. Touch of Thai was no different, but we were expecting it and were too hungry to care. We were clearly in for some unpretentious, no-frills dining.

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Luckily, i’d remembered at the last second that the place was byob and i’d grabbed a rosé we’d picked up at Newport Vineyards on a trip to Rhode Island last summer. There were maybe a dozen tables, most empty, so we were seated immediately (yes!) with a pair of glasses to get a head start on the rosé.

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The menu was much easier to absorb than Phenom’s phonebook, but wasn’t lacking in variety. I went in expecting to try the Pad Thai based on a recommendation. I ended up going with the Lad Nah Talay, a variety of seafood with Thai cabbage and broad noodles in a tapioca gravy, and my wife went for a green curry dish. We started with chicken satay skewers with a peanut sauce and bean sprouts. Tender and tasty.

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The entrées were just as expected – simple, hearty and flavorful. Both of our dishes were on the soupier side so i’ll probably go with a stir-fry next time.

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The dessert menu had exactly what we’d wanted at Phenom, mango, ginger and coconut ice cream, but we opted for the mango and sticky rice on a whim. Sliced mango, a creamy patty of sweet sticky rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, and a scoop of mango ice cream smothered with whipped cream. It was a new dish for us and we really enjoyed it. We were half finished before we even remembered to take a pic.

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It turned out the rosé had been a great choice – a nice sweetness to complement the Thai spices. We even finished the entire bottle, not something we normally would do, though the alcohol content was relatively low. Overall it was a super mellow evening thanks to the great food and comforting atmosphere (and the wine). Plus the bill was under $40 bucks before tip. Hard to beat that. A little bigger crowd to bring the energy level up a bit would have been nice. Maybe it was a slow night. Regardless of that nitpicking, another good experience will tell us if Touch of Thai deserves to be one of our go-to spots.

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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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