I’m fascinated by the different ways people handle what we consider to be “hidden gems.” Upon making a discovery, I think our primary nature is to share it, but whether we’d like to admit it or not we all value the feeling of exclusivity on some level. This sentiment is all too prominent in the arts and entertainment realms. The safekeeping of food discoveries is seemingly driven by a fear that the eatery could become too busy for its own good, resulting in raised prices, longer waits and unpredictable item availability. This happened to my favorite restaurant in Boone, although this is primarily an issue in small towns, where word spreads quicker.
I’ve been told Thai Corner Kitchen in Greensboro is one of these hidden gems. After enjoying a late dinner there with a few friends, it’s clear that concealing a restaurant as good as Thai Corner Kitchen borders on cruelty.
Thai Corner Kitchen is located on the corner of High Point Road and Williams Street. It’s an unassuming place with a small deck, accommodating in that it delivers (for free on orders exceeding $15) and offers a drive thru for takeout orders.
The charming restaurant’s quirks accentuate its affability. The building, formerly home to a frozen-custard stand, still features a cone on its sign. The dining room consists of small tables covered in floral-patterned vinyl, each adorned with an artificial flower in a vase. Framed photos of various dishes grace the walls. Infectious Thai pop songs play in the background to our delight.
The dining room is dimly lit, but if anything, that makes for a more romantic atmosphere, thanks to its invitingness. Other restaurants this dark might convey the ominous mood of a vacant alley or a Food Lion cereal aisle.
We start with an order of fried dumplings. The dumpling is an incredibly delectable, battered amalgamation of crab meat, pork, shrimp and sweet corn kernels with a dollop of chili-garlic sauce. Served with a sweet soy sauce for dipping, the dumpling is a perfect starting point for not only this meal, but for my love affair with Thai Corner Kitchen.
Many entrees are offered on the menu, but customers must choose to include either chicken, beef or shrimp to the dish (vegetarian options are offered too). This format creates many different options, but makes deciding an overwhelming task.
For the main course, I order the Crispy Kapow, consisting of breaded pieces of chicken, bell peppers and crispy basil leaves dressed with the chili-garlic sauce and presented next to a ball of sticky rice. The beautifully presented dish offers a tantalizing aroma and thankfully, its taste doesn’t disappoint. The sauce is a bit sparse, but only because a little goes a long way, as it’s full of a rich, spicy flavor with a mild sweetness. For me, the Crispy Kapow features the perfect level of spiciness. The combination of the savory chicken and fresh veggies coated in the sauce gives the dish an array of flavors. It’s a pretty large portion, but I finish it with relative ease.
In addition to this, I also order the Tom Yum Gai soup, which also smells and tastes remarkably delicious. The soup, both sour and spicy, features shredded chicken, mushrooms and lemongrass. It’s a terrific feeling when I think I’m about done with the soup, but find a good bit of shredded chicken at the bottom of the bowl to accompany the last of the sophisticated, flavorful broth.
I’m not sure why Thai Corner Kitchen isn’t one of the more popular restaurants in town. I guess I’d expect the reason to involve its small size. Perhaps people are confused by the ice cream cone on the sign. Whatever the reason, those unwilling to give Thai Corner Kitchen a try are missing out on an entirely enjoyable dining experience, a combination of a pleasant interior, terrific service and some of the best authentic Thai food in Greensboro.
Thai Corner Kitchen; 2600 High Point Road, Greensboro; 336.632.8854; Thaicornerkitchen.com