THE EATBEAT: Drunken Noodle offers authentic fareWe began our lunch with Thai tea when I met Marijo Shide (MS) and Bonnie Bauman (BB) at the Drunken Noodle for lunch along the Boardwalk in East Grand Forks.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
We began our lunch with Thai tea when I met Marijo Shide (MS) and Bonnie Bauman (BB) at the Drunken Noodle for lunch along the Boardwalk in East Grand Forks.
It was a warm, summer day. To me, iced tea is iced tea. Pretty good stuff. But the sprightly reddish looking Thai tea topped with whipped cream was especially inviting.
We ended our meal on another high note when at the suggestion of our server, we ordered “Lavender.” This is a delightful serving of lavender colored ice cream with a base and topping of whipped cream in a sundae serving dish.
In between, there was a substantial meal. One that for many people calls for a take-home carton. For me, that was enough for a meal the next day.
Pad Thai is one of the classics at Drunken Noodle, and it was the choice of MS. The base was stir-fried rice noodles with egg, tamarind sauce, bean sprouts and green onions. And the surprise was the topping with lime and crushed peanuts. This comes with chicken, beef or tofu for $9. With shrimp, you add $3 when ordering the classic dishes.
The menu runs the gamut from Pad Thai to the Drunken Noodle, featuring wide, flat noodles as a base with broccoli, tomatoes, onion, garlic bell peppers, jalapeno and Thai hot chili. The menu also includes Mac & Cheese.
My choice was SEE-EW with rice noodles, egg, Chinese broccoli and onion in sweet soy sauce. BB chose Yakisoba with fried egg, vegetables and bell pepper in a classic stir-fry sauce.
Our entrees were $9, and we added $2 apiece for the Thai tea and $5 each for the lavender dessert.
The menu offers starters including spring roll, shrimp cake and “Little Mermaid.” There are house special noodles along with the Drunken Noodle classics that we ordered. And there are noodle-less choices.
Dow (Som) Storey, who manages the restaurant, finds the house special noodles are most requested. One of them is called Bamee Gaeng — Thai style egg noodles with chicken, bok choy, carrots, bell peppers and basil in a spicy red curry. Drunken Noodle also features several noodleless dishes.
In plans for the future, the Drunken Noodle staff is thinking of offering “speed food” for customers who tend to come across the river to eat and then head back to Grand Forks for night-time revelry downtown.
The restaurant is large with seating for more than 200 inside and on the balcony. Drunken Noodle moved in when an Applebee’s restaurant closed a year and a half ago. There are red and purple accents in the seat backs. Customers have their choice of a large round counter, booths or tables near the windows. The pace seems steady throughout the day, and there is a relaxed ambience.
Storey also manages the popular Little Bangkok restaurant in East Grand Forks. The restaurants are owned by her brother, Keng Dechawut, of Fargo. The restaurateurs, from Thailand, now have six restaurants in Fargo along with the two in East Grand Forks.
The Fargo restaurants are LeeLaThai, Thai Orchid, Drunken Noodle, Wasabi, Cafe 21, and recently opened Beefsteak Restaurant.
Storey is married to David Storey of East Grand Forks. They have a son, Derek, 16 months. She reaches out to make acquaintances and notes that people in this area enjoy seafood.
415 Second St. N.W., East Grand Forks.
Owner: Keng Dechawut, Fargo.
Manager: Dow (Som) Storey.
Hours: 11 a.m. daily to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday.
Telephone: (218) 399-2100.
Report card: Rates high as a place to go for diners seeking something different with authentic fare prepared by four Thai chefs. On the downside, it takes a while to develop an understanding of the menu. Server Josh Thornton was helpful. Surroundings roomy and pleasant. At least a B.
Reach Hagerty at (701) 772-1055 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.