Business

Tasty Thai invasion hits town

"Thai food has exploded in popularity in the United States in recent years, and words like curry and phad Thai have become part of most people's food vocabularies.Silverdale has not escaped the trend. Two new Thai restaurants have appeared in the area to go head-to-head with the area's plentiful teriyaki joints.Phad Thai opened July 9 in Ross Plaza, and owner Soonthon Trout said business is off to a brisk start.We got a lot of customers - I hoped to have support like that, Trout said.The restaurant is cozy, with only seven tables, and is decorated with memorabilia from Trout's native land. There are framed pictures of the king and queen of Thailand, tapestries of dancers and hand-carved wooden musicians. The smell of coconut milk permeates the dining room.True to the name of the restaurant, phad Thai is the house specialty. Prices range from $4.95 for spring rolls to $10.95 for a combination seafood dinner. Most entrees cost $6.95.The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from noon-8 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant is closed Mondays.Trout has plentiful experience in the food business.I've been serving food since I was 12. My mom had a place in the market - she had the best Thai barbeque, Trout said.She opened a restaurant in Virginia when her husband was stationed there with the Navy, but sold it when he was transferred west.Trout, who employs three, said she eventually would like to expand the restaurant when her husband retires.All her ingredients are fresh, she said, and meals are made to order.It takes a little bit of time because we like it to be fresh, Trout said Reservations are not accepted at Phad Thai, but the restaurant does package food for take-out.Another Thai restaurant, Mathuros, will open in late August in the former Mike's Southern Barbeque building.Proprietor Joe Suwanvichit already owns City Thai restaurants in Kirkland and East Bremerton, and is venturing into a new market.I think Silverdale is a growing city. The Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Costco are there - everybody is going there because it is a new market, Suwanvichit said.The City Thai in Kirkland has enjoyed success in the East Sound, and was named Seattle Weekly's reader's choice for Thai food four times in the 1990s.Suwanvichit said his secret is the fresh ingredients he and his wife put into their sauces.We use fresh cilantro, lemongrass and ginger root, blended with chili paste. It comes out different, Suwanvichit said.He added that City Thai cooks never use sulfides or MSG in food preparation.House specialities at the 9523 Silverdale Way eatery will include curries, seafood dishes and foods with ginger sauce. Prices will range from $6 for appetizers to $12.95 for an entree, according to Suwanvichit. In the future, Suwanvichit hopes to expand his business into other cities on the West Sound.I hope it's successful. We'll go to Gig Harbor and other locations, open a few more on this side of the water. We hope they'll accept us, Suwanvichit said. "

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