I love Maine. Since November, when I moved back from New York City, I have fallen in love all over again with its beauty, its serenity, and the peacefulness it instills in me. I don't miss the subway or the tall buildings or even the nightlife full of endless options until dawn. But I do miss the Thai food.
A few times a week I would call my local Thai joint, Pongsri, and order red chicken curry and pad Thai. From the comfort of my tiny studio apartment, I would await its arrival in pajamas, until the buzzer rang. I'd prepare my money in the time it would take the delivery person to scale the five flights of stairs. It always came to $23, and it was always delicious: chunks of pineapple saturated in the creamy, coconut broth with a kick paired perfectly with the tangy lime sprinkled over the flavorful noodles. I loved the curry so much I'd pour some of the sauce over the pad Thai and indulge.
I miss it desperately. The delivery. The quality. Since November, I've survived on occasionally heading to Rockland after work to pick up my dynamic duo of noodles and curry at the local place, Tamarind (the Thai restaurant in Camden has been closed all winter). Lacking flavor and all the proper ingredients, the meal worked in the basest sense, but it was far from transcendent. I tried one place in Portland, but I didn't do my research, and I found the food to be almost inedible.
But yesterday I found my savior: Seng Thai restaurant in Belfast (160 Searsport Avenue, 207-338-0010)
. It's only twenty-five minutes from my house and well worth the drive. Part of a trio of Asian restaurants within a one minute radius (Ming's and Oriental Plaza, both of which I have not tried), Seng Thai is located in an unassuming white building on Route 1. The staff was extremely friendly. Both dishes - and yes, I ordered my go-to pad Thai and red curry - were flavorful (you can personalize your spice level on a one to five scale) and authentic. Plus the menu actually inspired me to return and try some of their specials like the steamed chive dumplings and their homemade ginger ice cream.
Finally I have found a place close enough to drive to that satisfies my frequent craving for Thai cuisine. Now I just have to work on that delivery thing.