Bank turned Thai restaurant on Dallastown's Main Street
If you go
Location: 45 E. Main St., Dallastown.
Cuisine: Thai dishes.
Kim's pick: Pad thai with chicken ($7.95) and mango mango dessert ($6.95).
Parking: The lot is beside the building. Heading south, it's on the left side of the road, just before the restaurant, but be careful not to pull into the driveway that was once a drive-through window for the bank.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday.
Price range: The chicken pad thai for lunch is $7.95 and $12.95 for supper. Chef's special Ped-Puk-King (tamarind duck) served with crispy noodles is $21.95.
Accepts: Cash and credit.
Takeout: Yes. Kid's menu: Yes.
Details: Call 717-501-4154 or check Facebook for Krua Thai Cafe .
Along the main drag in Dallastown, Krua Thai Café blends into the borough's commercial landscape, looking more like the bank that it once was than a restaurant inspired by the spices and sauces of Thailand.
On a hot September afternoon, I park in the lot beside what was once the bank's drive-through lane and step up to Krua's front door with the word "hello" on it.
The interior took owner Aree Ryan nine months to renovate, although the bank vault dead center gives away the secret. Simple tables and chairs fill the green room, decorated with pictures from the other side of the world.
A diverse lunch crowd occupies most of the tables — workers on their lunch hour, a family of three, and at a table beside me, three women critiquing their food and the other eateries they frequent.
The only waitress works between tables, delivering food, bills and special requests. She offers me a menu with three pages of choices.
The menu is Ryan's vision, a native of Thailand who moved to this country in 2008. She worked in a Thai restaurant in New Hampshire doing every job offered to her and saving her money, so when she and her husband, Tom, moved to York County, she began the search for a place to open a place of her own. She settled on this Dallastown spot because of its ideal location on a busy Main Street and opened Krua in June.
From her experience in New Hampshire, she learned what Americans liked in their Thai food — most importantly, less spice than in her homeland.
"We eat it tangy in Thailand, same as here but we cut down on spicy," she said.
Her most popular dishes are curry (green, red, royal panang, massaman, and a chef's special massaman made with beef tenderloin, onion and potatoes); drunken noodles ("It kind of tickles your tongue," Ryan said); and pad thai.
I love pad thai, so on my lunch break, I order the chicken version.
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Pad thai is made with a rice noodle, a translucent noodle about as wide as fettucini in a sauce that can be subtle or spicy, depending on your request. At Krua, the scallion, egg and chicken slices are large and tender, on a generous bed of noodles with crushed peanuts on the side. It's a tasty dish with a subtle sauce.
I box up half of the meal for later, but I still I want to try the mango mango dessert. What arrives looks more like a treat meant for two people, but I do my best. The sweet mango slice, warmed by the sticky rice beneath it, is sprinkled with coconut. On the side is a scoop of rich, creamy mango ice cream that's so good I ask the waitress if it's homemade. (It's not.) I finish off the mango, enjoy a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream and leave the sticky rice behind.
Ryan's Thai recipes are working, despite visiting her homeland only once since moving here in 2008. She misses her family but not the food.
"I don't miss the food because it's right here," she said, laughing.
Bank on it. It's right here in Dallastown.