I've been kicking around the idea of buying an e-reader, and a buddy of mine is as well, so we scooted up to Barnes & Noble in Kenwood to check out the Nook. We wanted to grab a lunch afterward, so I did a quick Yelp search on places close by - Mekong Thai stood out with respectable reviews, great proximity, and low prices. I don't know how often I'll return, but the dishes we had were good, and I'd recommend it if you want an alternative to the chains in the area - whether you're a local or a shopper.
The Food: The menu is pretty straightforward, with mostly Thai and then some Vietnamese mixed in as well. I ordered the pad kee-mao and my friend ordered the yellow curry. We had a starter of fried tofu too.
The pad kee-mao was very tasty, and quite spicy too. A few reviews said that they weren't joking about their heat, and I found that to be the case. It is a 1-3 scale, and if you don't really like it hot, don't get a 3. Others also mentioned that it was pretty oily, but I didn't find it to be that bad at all. The noodles were well prepared - cooked, but not overly slimy like is sometimes the case - and the big pieces of basil added a nice flavor. I found that a bit of soy sauce brought out more flavors, as is the case when you add a bit of salt and sugar to just about anything. I went the veggie route and chose tofu to go with the broccoli and cabbage. I would definitely order this again.
I can't say as much about the yellow curry because I only had one bite, but apparently it was quite tasty - buttery and flavorful, which I can attest to. The fried tofu we had was simple and good as well - it came with a nice peanut sauce that we both enjoyed.
The Ingredients: Nothing notable here - no local or organic options listed.
The Story, Setting, & Service: The restaurant is very simple with about 10-15 booths lined up in a narrow space. There is a TV at one end that had ESPN on at lunch time. There must have been another TV or a radio in the foyer though, because when I noticed the sounds it was Barack Obama talking while I was clearly watching SportsCenter. Who knows, maybe Barack just gave up and decided to pursue his true passion.
The waitress was kind and knowledgeable, and our food came quickly (it was a late lunch, so there were only a few other people there).
The Last Bite: I'm interested in trying more of their menu, and since Trader Joe's is just down the street and it is a regular stop for us, I am likely to be in the area again. But, I'd definitely confidently order that pad kee-mao again and be plenty happy.