Our second visit to Thai Lanna was as satisfying as the first. Ron has a friend living in the Mooresville/Lake Norman area of North Carolina and we have overnighted here many times. He suggested Thai Lanna on a previous trip after learning that we like Thai food. Driving around exit 36 off I-77, we spotted this gem of a strip mall tenant and knew our decision was made.
The interior is nicely adorned with Thai-themed statues, florals, artwork and music. White linen tablecloths cover all the tables and red linen napkins are artfuly folded at each place setting.
The menu has something for everyone. Well, unless you don’t like Thai food. And if you don’t, you probably would have steered clear of a place with “Thai” in the name. And you’d be a fool – Thai food rocks. The creaminess of the curries, the tender, thinly sliced meats, the HEAT! Yowza, it’s good.
I must say how proud I am of my older daughter, Hannah. She was a bit skeptical about the dishes but was willing to try fried rice. I ordered the chicken satay kid’s meal, which includes fried rice, for $5. She immediately dug into the satay and liked it. In fact, her plate was practically licked clean. It’s great that she kept an open mind and tried some new things.
I ordered the Panang Curry with chicken for a mere $10. What a great value this place is – I received a large bowl filled to the rim with yummy curry, loads of green beans and a generous amount of tender chicken. I went with two stars’ worth of heat but I could have handled three. I could taste the coconut milk, the peanut and the chilis. I greatly enjoyed the dish and was stuffed when I slid out of the booth.
To wash it down, I had most of a large Sapporo can for $4.50. We don’t beleieve in alcohol abuse so Ron finished what was left.
I had to taste Ron’s Spicy Basil Beef and it was also a great selection. The flavor of the Thai basil was in the forefront and the beef was tender and juicy.
If you are in the Mooresville area and you don’t want to sell out to another chain, I highly recommend Thai Lanna. FOUR FORKS.
Well today Susan and I loaded up the 64 VW Van and headed South.
Not wanting to put up with screaming kids for the eight hour drive to Charleston, SC, we stopped for a layover in Mooresville, NC. (kids screaming because the DVD player was broken in some “I don’t know what happened to it” style event.)
Plus my friend in the area was having his Bachelor’s party that eve. So leaving Susan and the kids at the nearest weekly rental unit, I headed to his house for some drinking and debauchery.
Before doing so… we went to eat and this is where we decided on. The I77 Exit 36 / Mooresville makes a good stop for our trips south. But it’s your typical interstate exit… Arby’s (we now know how that can be) Wendy’s, Applebees, Ruby Tuesday’s etc etc. Yes I’m sure there’s some good local cuisine to be had as Fat Boy’s was extremely crowded which is usually a good sign.
But we decided on Thai Lanna, as Susan mentioned we’ve eaten here once before, and it was pretty good. Susan not being able to decide what she wants (how unusual), kids only wanting McDonalds (sucks). I decided myself and mentioned that I know where we’re going. I thought the strip mall this joint was located in is right near the exit, and sure enough it was.
Thai Lanna (pronounced West Virginia Style “Tie Lanna”) is where I was going. Thai food is light, and I was intending to do some drinking this eve once ditching the kids and the wife to be.
I will be the talk of the party when they ask “how did you manage to leave her there?” to which I will chime in with “I’m good”.
But this blog is not about my scheming ways but more importantly how this out of town, extremely non local restaurant did with my food. But of course, is the Charlotte area really considered “Out of Town” for W.Va. folk, I mean half of our state’s residents have now migrated here.
Again, I digress.
Wanting to choose the “Evil Jungle Princess” - I mean how can one not try that? Also, in the menu pic you will see another one called “Young Girl On Fire”. Delicious is all I can imagine.
So I’m telling myself I’m going to choose the Evil Jungle Princess, noting that I do not really like Snow Peas, or string beans. But the deciding factor was when Susan mentioned that she thought that I had this dish the last time we frequented this joint.. (must have been a previous drunken stupor kind of eve). Well I didn’t really want the Young Girl On Fire either because, well… if the young girl’s on fire, how come there’s no little chili pepper icons beside the menu name????
I choose the first dish, Spicy Basil, for a whopping $10 (take that Taste Of Asia). I choose beef.
Well I also order a Singha beer – a product of Thailand. Unfortunately this is where Thai Lanna is similiar to Taste Of Asia as my beer was $3.75. I’m on vacation so I ended up having two. Susan ordered a Sapporo for $4.50 (Score again for Thai Lanna, please note that Taste Of Asia charges $6 for this beer).
Well, I thought the service was a little on the slow side but we were eating about 8:30PM. But the service was friendly and she kept asking if I needed another beer.
Once my food was brought out, it was piping hot, and of course it had the decorative carrot, and the ball of rice in the middle.
My beef was tender and the basil was very flavorful and appeared to be fresh. The veggies were cooked to perfection. And the sauce…
The sauce was spicy. Spicy as in very good. Spicy as in great…
My only complaint: I thought the quantity could have been a tad more. If it wasn’t cost effective to give me more of my main dish, then maybe they could give me more rice. Here is where I think Taste of Asia may have an edge. I think my portion was smaller at Thai Lanna, but the price was great (hence the portion I’m sure).
THREE FORKS for the first meal of the Fork You Family Vacation. I could give it Four but the more I think about the portion size, the more I think Three is more appropriate.Thai Lanna 335 W Plaza Dr # N
Mooresville, NC 28117-6893 (704) 663-7604