Tag Archives: Jeera Thai

Are We Having Fun Yet?

On Tuesday afternoon I said this would be a long one.

I may have been low-balling things.

As of 7 p.m. last night, Eversource was still “evaluating outages.” There’s a lot to evaluate, I’m sure. But more than 24 hours after what’s been called the 4th worst storm ever to hit the state, Westporters wonder whether power restoration will take days — or weeks.

It’s not as if Eversource has not prepared for storms. Despite what an “06880” commenter said yesterday, they have a robust preventive tree-trimming program. We’ve all seen the trucks on the roads this summer.

The lack of trucks now is getting people testy. So is the heat. And the search for WiFi and food.

We’re creatures of habit. We crave certainty. Between COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias, we’re swamped by uncertainty, 24/7.

We would not like to click on Eversource’s outage map and see “Estimated repairs completed by Tuesday, August 11.”

But seeing “evaluating outages” is megawatts worse.

(PS: I’d love to post a photo of a utility crew at work. If you’ve got one, send it along!)


So if this is Connecticut’s “4th worst storm ever,” what were the 3 worse ones?

Probably Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, followed by the “Snotober” Halloween snowstorm in  2011, and Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

Don’t forget the 1955 hurricane, or 1938.

Where does this one rank on your list? Click “Comments” below.

This scene of Superstorm Sandy’s fury is from North Compo Road.


“06880” reader and longtime friend Terry Brannigan writes:

Lots of folks are bumping around in the dark, or looking for generators. Yet many Westporters have SUVs, minivans, Jeeps and other cars with AC adaptors.

You can run a cord from them into the house, and plug in plenty of lamps. W had 6 Tuesday night, no problem.

The longer the cord, the more you will lose amperage. Shorter is better, but be careful to park outside — not in a garage. You don’t want fumes!

The car is quiet, has low emissions and will idle for a couple of weeks on s full tank of gas. Those generators your neighbors have are loud, smelly and thirsty!

PS: Your car AC adaptor won’t power your refrigerator. But you will have light, music and the ability to charge batteries.


Plenty of Westporters have discovered the library’s Wifi. The building is closed, but coverage extends into Jesup Green and the Levitt Pavilion parking lot.

Some of those seeking service have (not surprisingly) forgotten that in addition to the power outage, we’re in the midst of a pandemic. With so many people trying to access the internet, it’s hard to stay socially distant.

So, a gentle reminder: Log on, and mask up!

A peaceful, post-Isaias scene on Jesup Green. Crowds are tighter closer to the building.  (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

 


I mentioned yesterday that Don Meno — Bill Taibe’s new restaurant replacing Jesup Green — is open for dinner. So is Walrus Alley next door (the former Rothbard + Larder).

And don’t forget Jeera Thai, the fantastic spot across the street from Design Within Reach. We’re lucky to have it in town — and luckier still that it’s one of the few restaurants with power.


I’m not sure if Balducci’s is still open. But yesterday they got kudos for serving customers (with non-perishables, of course), despite no power.

Starbuck’s is open downtown. Their Wifi and cell service are down though, so it’s cash only. And if you need an ATM, because who carries money these days? Good luck with that.

Stew Leonard’s is open too. In the hours after the storm, they went through an astonishing 20 pallets of ice. They’ll keep getting deliveries of essentials, and keep selling ’em.’


And finally … who would have thought last year that 2019 would be “the good old days”?!

Pic Of The Day #1070

Great food — carefully delivered — at Kawa Ni … (Photo/Darcy Hicks)

… and curbside at Jeera Thai, one of Westport’s most flavorful restaurants. Pook — the great, giving owner — and all other restaurants in Westport need our support!

Jeera Thai: Thanking A Gem

The other day, I stopped in to Jeera Thai.

That’s the tiny but wonderful restaurant tucked next to Finalmente, across from Design Within Reach, just down from Westport Pizzeria and the great new Field Trip jerky shop.

In a town filled with very good restaurants — and new ones coming (and going) all the time — Jeera Thai is at the top of any list.

This is the real deal. The menu is authentic — not watered down for American palates. Chicken, lamb, noodles, soups, stir-fry, curry — it’s all there, flavorful, zesty and real.

Herbs and spices are “correct” — imported from Thailand. Other ingredients come from New York, where there is a robust Thai dining scene.

Clockwise from top: Su Kho Thai, a very spicy noodle soup; curry puffs (chicken with cucumber sauce); Bangkok Stir Fry, another spicy and wonderful dish.

I had a salmon, red curry and coconut dish that was truly out of this world. Or at least, halfway around it.

Here’s the interesting thing: As I chatted with owner Jeeranunn Atiportunyapong — you can call her “Luna,” and I sure do — several other diners offered totally unsolicited praise.

“I’m very well traveled,” one said. “I study Asian culture. This is as spot-on as it gets. The food is so fresh. It’s real cooking. You can’t fake flavors. There’s a perfect balance between pungent and spicy. It can be ecstatically amazing.”

But she wasn’t finished. She added, “This place is a refuge for me. I come here 3 or 4 days a week.”

Luna, in her Jeera Thai restaurant.

Overhearing us talking, another customer chimed in.

“I’ve been to Thailand. This is so authentic. The pad kaprow and drunken noodles with beef — you can’t beat that anywhere. You should write a story about it!”

I don’t usually do that. But those customers — and all of Luna’s many others — are right. It’s a true Westport gem, hidden right in the middle of downtown.

So here’s that story. And (thank you, Google Translate!) here are my thanks to Luna, for Jeera Thai’s wonderful food and beautiful spirit:

ขอขอบคุณและขอให้โชคดี

Jeera Thai, nestled in a small space off the Post Road.

Jeera Thai: The Downtown Secret Is Out

It takes courage to open a (non-Italian) restaurant in Westport. In a small space.

In January.

But plenty of Westporters are glad that Darapon Wongchame — you can call her Dara, or Pook — did.

A year ago this month, the Thai native welcomed diners to Jeera Thai. Located next to Finalmente — opposite the old post office/aka the enormous and now shuttered Post 154 — it proves that a wonderful, authentic restaurant can succeed in a tiny space.

Jeera Thai, nestled in a small space off the Post Road.

Jeera Thai, nestled in a small space off the Post Road.

Pook does not have a lot of money to advertise (though she donates generously to every fundraiser that asks for a gift card or ad, and bought a booth at last summer’s Downtown Arts Festival). Success has come largely through word of mouth.

Because the mouths that Jeera Thai feeds love every savory bite.

Boards list the specials in Thai and English.

Boards list the specials in Thai and English.

Pook was born near the Mekong River. She came to the US in 1992, and helped her family with their restaurants in New Haven and Guilford. (Her mother — “a great cook” — taught her well.)

She laughs that she came to Westport for the shopping. But she found the people here “very nice, friendly, kind and helpful.” When she spotted the space available next to Finalmente, she did not hesitate.

Pook likes the location, on the busy Post Road in the heart of downtown. She trusted her instinct that her menu — truly authentic  Thai food, not watered down for the American palate — would resonate with Westporters.

It has. “People here have open minds,” Pook says. “They travel a lot. If food is not cooked right, they know.”

Her customers are “smart eaters. They don’t just swallow things down.” Many are pleased that her dishes can be vegan, and gluten-free.

Pook uses “correct” herbs. She pays a bit more to import brands from Thailand. Other ingredients come from New York, where there is a robust Thai dining scene.

Clockwise from top: Su Kho Thai, a very spicy noodle soup; curry puffs (chicken with cucumber sauce); Bangkok Stir Fry, another spicy and wonderful dish.

Clockwise from top: Su Kho Thai, a very spicy noodle soup; curry puffs (chicken, potato, onion with cucumber sauce); red jasmine rice; Bangkok Stir Fry, another wonderfully spicy dish; ginger tea.

Much of her business is takeout. She also delivers via UberEATS. (It’s expensive for her, but she wants to make customers happy.)

There is seating for 30. Pook has no liquor license, but diners can bring their own drinks.

In just a year, Jeera Thai has become an integral part of Westport’s dining scene. Pook’s customers have made her feel welcome — and she loves them back.

Meanwhile, she has adapted well to our town. Like any local, whenever she craves a certain food, she heads right over to her neighbor: Westport Pizzeria.

(For more information on Jeera Thai — including the menu — click here.)

Pook Wongchame (right) with 2 of her staff (from left): Yada Nakarnchintranath and Nena Vong.

Pook Wongchame (right) with 2 of her staff (from left): Yada Nakarnchintranath and Nena Vong.

Art (And More) About Town

Tonight’s Art About Town opening party drew hundreds of folks to Main Street.

Plenty of actual art was displayed, on sidewalks and in store windows. But there were other art forms too: street performers, musicians, face painters and more.

Plus (of course) food.

The annual event is sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. Artwork will remain in stores — and available for purchase — through June 19.

Painting with a Twist had a booth -- including (just like at their art sessions) a bottle of wine.

Painting with a Twist’s booth included (just like their sessions) a bottle of wine.

But is it art?

But is it art?

Builders Beyond Borders showed mosaics. This one was made out of pieces of photos, taken on a recent service trip.

Builders Beyond Borders offered mosaics. This one was constructed from thousands of photos, taken on a recent service trip.

Little kids can make art out of anything. Including sand.

Little kids can make art out of anything. Including sand.

Art About Town - 2 ladies 1

Two ladies.

Haitian artist Jean Benoit -- now living in Stratford -- showed off his works near The Gap.

Haitian artist Jean Benoit — now living in Stratford — showed his works near The Gap.

Boo!

Boo!

Jeera Thai was among many downtown restaurants offering dinner.

Jeera Thai was among many downtown restaurants offering dinner.

Art is all about free expression.

Art is all about free expression.