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Thai Curry, Buckingham Shopping Center in North Arlington - Chef Jaruwan Punkruen in the old Bangkok Siam Space on N. Glebe Road and Pershing Drive

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Thai Curry is one of the Groupon specials today (http://www.groupon.com/deals/thai-curry-arlington?c=dnb&p=5).

It replaced Bangkok Siam in the Buckingham shopping area, and has been totally renovated - so much nicer than before. Full disclosure in that I am friends with the owner, but I have enjoyed many of the dishes I have had here. A few dishes that you do not see on every other Thai menu as they are trying to emphasize a more "street food" approach, but we still usually order the standard curries and noodle dishes. I do love the Larb Balls, a nice change from regular larb gai although you have to forget all the extra calories that likely come with the frying part of the dish. The owners also have Kanlaya and Asian Spice.

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Food here was considerably better than that from our trip to Bangkok 54 a few months ago. Started with the soup and the fresh spring rolls - which ended up being to massive rolls topped with tamarind sauce - unexpected; both were delicious. For entrees we had Thai Cashew with Tofu - a solid rendition that came with several chilis that could easily be avoided or included for varying spice levels - and the Southern Wild Pork. I lived in Thailand for a month and that Southern Wild Pork reminded me of the cooking I had with my host family, very good, rustic even, and the heat seemed to really build as you ate. Also had a jellies with jackfruit for dessert. Nothing earth shattering but major points for having a good jelly dessert, even if its not my favorite kind, coconut.

It was very busy when we first arrived, but Groupons were about to expire this week, so that could be the reason for the rush on a weekday. Most beers were $4, including Asian imports, and there were good HH specials as well that go until 8. We will definitely return and explore the menu more. In this case Groupon worked the way every business hopes - we finally went to a place we'd been meaning to try and plan to make it our local Thai place.

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Last night, I tried the "Southern Wild Pork" for the first time. I'd been hesitant, because it's supposed to be very hot. From the website:

Southern Wild Pork – Khua Kling Moo $15

Thinly sliced pork, cooked in yellow curry paste until the flavor blends well into the meat. This is a coconut milk- free curry, originating from Southern Thailand. It is extremely spicy, pungent, and made with a large amount of turmeric and finely shredded kaffir lime leaves.

Two notes on it:

* It about kicked my butt

* I couldn't stop eating it, it was delicious.

I even got extra rice to try to help with the heat.

I am glad to have them in my neighborhood.

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Not go out of your way for, but in the area we will get it for delivery again.

If you haven't tried Thai Curry just a little further down Glebe for delivery via grub hub, I'd highly recommend their food over Bangkok Bistro's. It is less americanized though, so pay attention to spice level warnings on certain dishes.

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Haven't been in there in a while (according to Foursquare: July, 2013) and when an out-of-town friend said he wanted Thai, I pointed him right here. Fortunately meeting closer to 8 PM meant he had no problem getting a place in the lot out front.

Having not been there in six months I was surprised to see it a bit different. They advertise "Thai Curry Express" now, especially for lunch - an interesting idea, as their old lunch specials, while okay, were slow to eat (you'd get spring rolls, and soup, and a main dish). Also, now you order at the counter when you're ready, with only (apparently) one person working the front of the house (including the phones) on this night. She did take my beer order when she stopped by and refilled our water, but my friend put in his order for a Coke at the counter.

We started with steamed Thai Dumplings. They were good. Not great, not bad, a little cool perhaps temperature-wise. I was starving from my workout so they were a necessity for me.

He got the drunken noodles. I had warned them that they didn't mess around when it comes to the spiciness and he said I was right. On the other hand, he also said while spicy, it never got overwhelming, and that it came out really well.

I got a new item on the menu: chicken Bangkok yellow curry. As it says on the website (WARNING: auto-play music!):

This classic yellow curry made with chunks of chicken, potatoes, onion and tomatoes, tastes like one of those wonderful curry dishes you can find in the marketplaces and streets of Bangkok.

I liked it quite a bit, and it was barely spicy at all. The dumplings, the curry, and two beers cost me $29.

EDIT: forgot to mention: if you look at the menus, you'll see they've changed. However, it looks like most everything that was on there before is still there - it's just consolidated from a book to one laminated double-sided page. A VERY GOOD THING in my opinion.

And now, belly full, I will pass out.

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