Asian Delight in Franklin NH - worth a detour for Thai
There have been posts about this place, and we finally stopped on our way to Meredith. It's def worth a detour for tasty and reasonably authentic Thai. The tom yam kung was too sweet, but the chicken satay had nice flavors. The spicy beef salad was delicious, lots of complexity in the dish. The duck green curry was average. We ordered the spiciest things on the menu, but they really turned down the heat. Next time, would ask for 'spicy like Thai people eat'.
We liked to eat early so generally arrive at 5:30pm. Only a few tables were occupied while we were there but some take out orders going out, too. It's a small restaurant so we rarely have to wait unless an event is going on next door at the Opera House.
The two of us negotiated our order. My husband can't give up House Special fried rice which I previously explained has a tasty slight char flavor. Just enough vegetables are added to make each bite interesting. A couple of shrimp and a few small slices of chicken to go with the scallion, peas and small dice carrot, bean sprouts etc.
But last night he also wanted Crispy Pad Thai so the plan was to order both a rice and noodle dish so we would have leftovers for Monday night when there's no time to cook. The Crispy Pad Thai was sweet and tasty.
Panang Curry with chicken was our choice for a meat and vegetable dish. The menu list different sauces and curries and you can pick the meat or tofu. Even the Panang Curry has a tiny bit of heat. My nose runs when I eat spicy food. I admired the vegetable prep that is done at Asian Delight. The carrots are trimmed so when they are finely sliced, each is a little flower with scalloped edges. I wonder if the baby corn is sliced to make it go further or because then you can have a piece of corn with some other vegetables. The green beans were fresh and cooked just enough to leave a little raw flavor to them. But what made this dish equisite was the very finely sliced pieces of kaffir lime leaves, so fine one might mistake it for dill weed until the flavor of lime is tasted. I think there was a different cook some time ago who had a heavier hand with the lime leaves. You could see them pushed to the side of my husband's plate.
I finally remembered to ask about the tea since it is different from what we've had any place else. They mix Thai tea and jasmine. It is orange so it is obviously different. We enjoy the flavor, just slightly sweet.
I think they have wisely turned down the heat for this part of the country. When I cook, I might only use 1/4 of the Korean red pepper or Chili Sauce that is called for. I bet they would turn up the heat, if requested. If you are familiar with Franklin, it's a run down former mill town. It's surprising to see anything except pizza places. If you get off I93 at exit 17, you can drive on rt 3 into Franklin. Asian Delight is on a left hand corner. After your meal you can continue north on rt 3 and get back on I93 at exit 20 (Tilton outlet malls).
Asian Delight's house fried rice is my husband's favorite of any restaurant we have ever visited. We have not been to Siam Orchid in Concord since discovering Asian Delight several years ago. The service is always friendly and I enjoy the complimentary section of fresh pineapple that comes with the bill. I think the cooks have changed. The Massaman Curry is a little different. It used to have sweet potatoes and last time we ordered it, it had white potatoes.
A small selection of Japanese and Korean dishes are on the menu. We like the chicken satay and don't like things too spicy. It's Franklin NH so I'm not surprised if they turn down the heat. Literally, the restaurant is also a little drafty on the coldest days. They re-arranged the tables to make it better but we don't like to sit near the door. I'm afraid my husband likes to stick to his favorite dishes so there are quite a few we haven't tried. The reason why he likes the fried rice so much is that is has a slight charred flavor. It's not burnt, it's a char and something I can't duplicate at home (don't have a cast iron skillet or wok for one thing).
This is a place we'd like to see stay in business and I think it's worth a detour. There's another Thai place up by the outlet malls but I don't know how the two restaurants compare. Darn, we almost went up last Sat night but changed our destination. We probably only get there once every 2 months and I can't remember what we liked so much on a recent visit (besides the fried rice).
Caveat, I don't care for the county western singer they have on Sat nights.
hmmm doesn't really sound worthy of a detour if only one dish met with a "delicious". The others had "nice" flavors, too sweet or average. Overall they didn't meet your spicy request-I assume you asked for spicy but didn't specify Thai spicy?
Curious why you would go back? Do you think it was just an off night?
We are headed in that direction in early April but don't think we will make a special trip there.
I grew up in Thailand and probably have unrealistically high standards for what passes as Thai food in the States. This place is run by Thai people, the flavors have the sour, sweet, salty and bitter qualities of Thai food, the vegetables taste fresh and crisp, and considering the alternatives in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.