A “Lemongrass” Atmosphere

Within the hipster town of New Paltz resides a small Thai restaurant known as Lemon Grass. Defined as “a grass grown in tropical regions for its lemon-scented foliage…” — this restaurant is simply that.

As soon as one steps through the glass door, a burst of lemon incense fills the air. Traditional Thai music is played at the lowest of volumes so as to reiterate that sense of relaxation. It seemed as though the restaurant was anything but — a Friday afternoon in this place was pretty busy, as families bustled in and out of the restaurant.

However, the ambiance remained the same. All the commotion came to halt as people sat down and were handed the menus.

As the waitress approached the table to take orders, she first filled the glasses with water. Unclear to the naked eye, after a few sips, the realization that this water had a a lemon-grass taste comes to mind. The cold lemon infused water is quickly consumed.

After some orders are filled, the wait is a matter of minutes.

The waitress appears with the infamous Thai iced tea — a drink that surprisingly everyone ends up enjoying. It’s sweet and creamy combination with a slight taste of bitter tea makes this a more enjoyable blend than caramel iced coffee. However, when drinking this Thai delight, it is best paired with a plate of rice noodles.

The complimentary salad appetizers arrive. Lettuce and carrots covered in sweet peanut sauce had never tasted better. Peanut sauce tastes like a cross combination of peanut butter and raspberry vinaigrette watered down to an oil.

Pad Thai happens to be one of the most popular Thai entrees for those adventurous enough to try this cuisine. Known for its thick rice noodles, Pad Thai usually comes with pieces of chicken and shrimp while covered in bean sprouts, green onion, and grounded peanut. Topped with a bit of sweet peanut sauce and some lemon juice, this makes for a zesty combination.

Moderately priced, the Lemon Grass compensates with its hefty portions. Enough to feed an army of two, the Pad Thai is an entree that may not always be finished by the “common folk.” It’s most likely one that is packed and taken home as leftovers for the next day — which is not entirely all that bad as there is the common theory that food always tastes better the next day.

Not to mention the wait staff was constantly attentive, refilling glasses with more lemon water all the way through to bringing the check alongside Thai mints.

As music continued to play and tranquility circled the room, the Thai experience came to an end and people made their way out the door. They seemed to be stepping back out into the hipster streets of New Paltz — with honking cars and bustling noise.