Frankly Speaking

by Florence Ondré

Now, you know how much my dear Tom and I love Thai food. We’re sure we have had a life in Thailand and it was fragrant with aromatic flavors of The Land Of Smiles.  We believe the good that is experienced gets carried over into other life experiences.. and many, on the palate!

Literally, I can sense-smell and taste the curries  and cuisine I know in the very cells of my being and sense-feel the sweetness and crunch of the dishes that called me before I even tasted Thai food in this lifetime.

So, of course, as we travel all over the world, we are like heat-seeking missiles for Thai restaurants near and far.  The difference is that the Boom when we find our targets, is only the Kapow! in finding high yum factors!  There is no distraction; only the magnitude of pure joy in tasting the diversity in dishes which, many times, bear the same names on menus.

While in New York City one evening, before attending theatre, we popped in to a place new to us.  Sheer spur of the moment and happenstance… Yeah, right!

We were seated at a table for two, enjoyed a lovely meal and the bonus was that the couple at the table next to us became the gift that keeps on giving.  They looked over at the dishes on our table as we looked over theirs and we struck up a conversation filled with recommendations of beloved dishes and exchanged favorite restaurants.  This pleasant chance meeting sent us straight to one of the best Thai restaurants on Long Island that we had been unaware of, for years.

Frankly Thai at 959  Hempstead Avenue in Franklin Square, NY, turned out to be every bit as good as our dinner mates said and the welcome to this lovely spot was warm and light filled, as if we were long lost relatives.

We tried some of our personal fav appetizers and entrees the first visit and the Chicken Saté was close to the best we’d ever had and their peanut sauce, also high ranking was finger licking good.  A crunchy sweet tamarind, Mee Krob and Tom Kha Gai coconut soup filled with aromatic galangal flavor were also delicious.

The husband and wife owners, Frank and Jin,  were amiable and happy to talk about ingredients and variations on cuisine.  Jin is from Thailand and is the chef,  while Frank is a cherubic, Italian stationed at the bar, glad handing everyone like the family maitre d.  They both are passionate about good food and fresh ingredients and are willing to make anything your way. So, if you like the food a little more or less spicy or have a special Thai favorite, they can and do accommodate with pleasure.

One of their specials from time to time is a very interesting Kao Soi, yellow curry, with a bit more zip  than simple yellow curries and Jin’s version has thick udon noodles in the golden sauce with de riguere crispy noodles on top.  My dear Tom was in Heaven…and I joined him on cloud nine when trying an appetizer on their regular menu called Shrimp Rolls.

Lo and behold!  The Thai angels were watching over me as I crunched ecstatically into the best Koong Sarong (shrimp in spring roll with  sweet and spicy sauce)  since my two favs, Marnee Thai in San Francisco and E Saan in Sonoma, Ca.  The cilantro and shrimp  in each crisp wrapper was scrumptious!  My joy at finding some of my all time favorite delectables here on the East Coast, close to home was over the moon! Did any of you hear me g’shraying (Yiddish for vocal shreiking) in ecstasy from restaurant table to your ears?  We knew we’d found a home close to home and vowed to let the “popping in begin!”

On subsequent visits, we tried a really interesting twist on Massaman curry….A Massaman Roti; chicken wrapped in roti (fried flat bread), topped with avocado, pineapple, sweet potato and peanuts in a light, almost golden, tamarind sauce, which moved us to finger-licking the dish for every drop of that incredible sauce.  When the waitress came over to ask how we liked it, she said,”Wow! I guess we won’t have to wash that plate!”

High praise it was indeed; a kin to the first time I had chicken Massaman in Sonoma,CA., and was so astonished at its divinity, I mentioned I could lick the plate.  Being dared, I picked up the serving dish and slurped every drop of that sweet sauce clean as a whistle and held the plate aloft so that everyone in the restaurant got the message, including the chef/owner, Sunny.  Everyone laughed good naturedly at my tossing poor Emily Post out the front door and applauded  the ultimate huzzah!

And here we were in NY;  face to plate again.  Within 20 minutes from home!

Frankly Thai is frankly to die for, with high drool and yum factors on so many levels.

Oh, go ahead, people, go!  Have a nice chat with Frank and Jin and try some old favs and new experiences in a happy, homey atmosphere.  When you’re here, you are family!

And frankly my dears, you will, I assure you, give a damn!

Frankly Thai is frankly fabulous!

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