Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paragon Thai Restaurant Food Review

Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles) with Chicken

It started badly, with a difficult phone call; but lunch at Paragon Thai Restaurant won me over all the same, thanks to some spicy (and darn tasty) Pad Kee Mao.

Parked conveniently at Sam's Park & Shop in Cleveland Park, Paragon is often full with customers; but calling in an order was no easy task. I telephoned around 12:30 to place an order for a #51 Drunken Noodles (for me) and #36 Ka Pow for my friend (and lunch benefactor) Bob. There was an obvious language barrier over the phone... one that required several choruses of "excuse me?" on my part. I was told my order would be ready in 15 minutes, to which I replied, "How much is it?" I was given a total of $26.35... which was odd, considering both entrees cost $9.95, and DC taxes a lot (but not almost 33%.)

Turns out, she thought I was ordering two dinners (at 12:30 in the afternoon.) I asked about the $9.95 price on their website, and she mumbled something about smaller lunch specials. Yeah whatever: Needless to say, I was suspicious of her from the word, "Hello." She hurried off the phone with, "OK, bye," and I stopped in 20 minutes later.

When I arrived, the relatively small eatery was packed with customers and vibrant energy (AKA buzz.) Paragon offers dine-in lunch specials for $9.95 (which includes your choice of entree and an appetizer.) Sweet deal. My order was waiting for me at the bar, already packaged in a plastic bag. $22 (including tax) later, and I was on my way back to the shop (food in tow.)

If this is smaller, I'd hate love to see what dinner is like; because this is a lot of food. It doesn't look appetizing (brown food rarely is) but you can't take away the heavy dose of spice (have lots of water handy) and good quality chicken and noodles. It rests on a leaf of lettuce (for color, I imagine) and contained just one thin strip of red pepper & half a cherry tomato. No big deal, because odds are... you won't taste anything but the noodles (which are really, really spicy.)

I was full three-quarters in, and happy to boot. There's probably an alarming amount of sodium to regret later; but I'd gladly order it again (as would my big bro.) Me? I'll wait to eat-in next time (no phone call, and a free app... Sounds good to me.)