To gear you guys up for July’s Best Suburbs issue, I’m traveling to ten different ‘burbs in the DFW area for a semi-weird cross-city food tour. I’ll be documenting all my finds in these ‘Burbalicious posts that’ll be peppered throughout June and July. If you feel like your suburb deserves a shot at some SideDish love, email me and I’ll ask my Magic 8 ball if I should go. Last week, I ventured to the Russian Banya in Carrollton.
Euless, Euless, Euless. I honestly know nothing about you except that you lie in that hazy gray area between Dallas and Ft. Worth, and your name sounds a teensy bit like the word “useless”… but let’s not go there. I don’t feel like making 51,277 Eulessian enemies today. And, clearly, you aren’t because you offered my stomach something good to eat. How surprising and kind of you.
When I asked my friend Suzanne what to eat around her ‘hood, she suggested Thai Papaya Garden in Euless because “they have the best Tom Kha chicken noodle soup around.”
Friendships require a certain amount of trust, so trust I did in Suzanne (but not without some hesitation). I’m usually wary to try new Thai restaurants because Thai food can get a bit tricky. The dishes often err on the side of being too tangy or not tangy enough, so it’s rare when you come across an excellent curry or soup. It didn’t help that Thai Papaya Garden also has a 32-paged menu filled with titles printed in WordArt that made me question the half-hour drive it took to get there…
(If you’re visiting for lunch, allow me to give you a word of advice so your mind won’t explode from the sheer overwhelming volume: stick to the lunch menu pages. There are only two.)
It turns out that Suzanne was right about the Tom Kha soup. As soon as it arrived on our pink and purple tablecloth, I dove into a bowl of cloudy, milky broth filled with rice noodles, tomatoes, onions, and chicken. Whoa mama. Surprisingly, the soup base wasn’t too sour or too sweet; instead; it had just the right amount of spicy, nutty, and coconut-y flavor that makes Thai food so good. My chopsticks couldn’t stop moving even after I was terribly full.
Suzanne and I also shared a red curry (coconut milk base with basil and bamboo shoots) that came with a small Tom Yum soup, vegetarian egg roll, and steamed rice for $7.95. Not a bad deal, but it still came in second place compared to the Tom Kha soup.
Hm. On second thought, allow me to retract my earlier advice. Ignore all 32 pages of the menu. Go to Thai Papaya Garden, order a glass of water, and tell the waiter you want a bowl of Tom Kha soup. You’ll save yourself a headache and leave a much happier person.