Monday, January 12, 2009

First Bite: Sated With Satay! Read All About It!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 7:06 AM

Remember back when there were afternoon newspapers like the Nashville Banner? If Banner Boy (as we lovingly refer to the bronze sculpture of a newspaper boy housed in the Nashville Public Library) were alive today, he'd be standing on a street corner shouting, "Fresh, delicious Thai food on Elliston!"

Fluffernutter, the interns and I just returned from lunch at Satay Thai Grill, the second act by the team that brought you Thai Spice in Franklin. Owner Tong Prasertsinh was manning the counter of the week-old store, while his wife was holding down the fort at their first restaurant.

For $37, the four of us sated ourselves with chicken and pork satay plates, which each came with four skewers, a fluffy salad with tamarind dressing, and choice of noodles or rice. Tom yum soup with chicken was redolent with fresh cilantro and hunks of fresh tomato--if a little sweeter than we're used to. Summer rolls burst with shrimp, lettuce and fresh mint, and delicate spring rolls were piping-hot and crisp-fried vehicles for a number of sauces, including panang, sesame-ginger and red and green curry with coconut.

While everything on the terse menu was made fresh to order, glistening and flavorful, the steamed chicken bun stood out for its fresh baked soft bread, made in house at Thai Spice, slathered with hoisin sauce and loaded with grilled chicken strips and English cucumbers.

Tang, who originally hails from Thailand, could not have been friendlier or more enthusiastic about the new venture, and at one point he surprised our table with samples of delicious mango and ginger ice creams, which made a for sweet and zesty coda to the meal.

Even served in plastic carry-out boxes, our combos were attractive and fresh, so we'll look forward to picking up dinner from Satay, which is open seven days a week. As soon as he gets settled, Tong says he plans to offer delivery in a five-mile radius. Banner Boy would be proud.

Satay Thai Grill is located at 2412 Elliston Place (phone: 915-0972).

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