Saturday, December 1, 2012
After making the pleasant discovery that my father really enjoyed Malaysian food, I thought it might be fun to see what other ethnic cuisines he'd be willing to try. I'm not up in Connecticut as often as I'd like to be, so I knew I had to make every opportunity count. When I went up to take care of wedding-planning details early last summer, I proposed that we grab Thai food for lunch at Dusitra Thai Cuisine to celebrate Father's Day a little early, and he agreed.
[I can feel you judging me as you're reading this. You should know by now that, despite my efforts to write in a more timely fashion, it typically takes me approximately 3-6 months after I've eaten somewhere to get a restaurant review up on the blog. I'm getting this one in just under the wire.]
Dad and I have driven past Dusitra countless times before we actually pulled into the parking with the intent to eat there. It seemed so silly to me that his house was so close to the restaurant, but we had never taken the time to check it out. When we walked into the restaurant, I immediately questioned our decision because the restaurant was completely empty even though we were right in the middle of what should have been the lunchtime rush.
Despite my initial misgivings, we allowed the hostess to seat us at a table that had an unobstructed view of Route 5 and proceeded to look over the lunch menu. Once our orders were in, it didn't take long for our waitress to bring out two bowls of their Vegetable Soup ($3.95), which was full of steamed tofu, Napa cabbage, carrot, boy choy, scallions, baby corn, and dried garlic in a clear broth. The flavor was absolutely incredible, deep but light. Just the right way to kick off our meal.
I silently prayed that the rest of the food would be as flavorful.
As appetizers, we selected an order of the Thai Spring Rolls ($5.95) and an order of the Crab Rangoon ($6.95), both of which were served with the house sweet-and-sour sauce for dipping. Crispy and hot, these little bites gave us nothing to complain about and only got us more excited about our main courses.
Because I'm a fan of all things spicy, I decided to give Dusitra's Basil Fried Rice with Chicken ($7.95) a try. The rice was plenty spicy -- it brought happy tears to my eyes -- and had just the right amount of scrambled egg, onions, bell peppers, and string beans to balance out the heat. I'd rank it right up there with some of the best Basil Fried Rice I've ever had and felt badly that I didn't have enough room in my stomach to finish it all in one sitting. (The lunch portions were extremely generous and practically necessitated the request for take-home boxes.)
In the time that we sat there, only one other person came into the restaurant, and she only stayed long enough to pick up a take-out order. Dad and I were the only dine-in customers for the good part of two hours, and I had to wonder why. The staff was extremely pleasant and the food came out relatively quickly and tasted incredible.
I came up with two conclusions for the severe lack of dining patrons: 1) there were others out there who spotted the restaurant and never pulled into the parking lot with the intent to eat there and 2) the people who did give Dusitra a try weren't fans of hearing Peter, Paul and Mary sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" over and over again while they ate and decided never to go back. (That's the only song that was played while we were there.)
If you're local to the North Haven area, then make a point of stopping by for lunch. If you do, and they are still playing "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the background, then do your best to ignore it and concentrate on the food.
It's worth it.
Dusitra Thai Cuisine
369 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 239-2232 | Map
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