The place: White Lotus, Dayton
Menu highlights: Thai cuisine and American sandwiches. Appetizers include springs rolls ($1.50 each or 3 for $4) and chicken or pork satay ($4.95). Thai specialties include Pad Thai and Pad Se-Ew ($7.95 each); Thai Beef Jerky and Lab Kai ($8.95 each); and Red, Yellow, Green or Massaman Curry ($7.95). American sandwiches include Yummy Burger ($4.95), Yummy Bacon Burger ($8.20), Yummy Extreme Double Burger ($9.20); Fish Filet ($4.95) and Pork Tenderloin ($4.95). Sodas, coffee and milk ($1); Thai coffee and tea ($2).
What we tried:
- Spring roll, $1.50: Crisp and delicious. Served with homemade hot and sour sauce.
- Yummy Burger, $4.95: At least a half-pound hand-formed patty cooked to perfection. We added cheese ($.25) and fries ($1).
- Pad Thai, $7.95: We had ours with chicken. The dish comes with rice noodles, vegetables, two eggs and peanuts in homemade Thai sauce.
- Thai tea, $2: Iced tea with a hint of star anise, also with Half and Half poured on top. Delicious and refreshing.
- Thai coffee, $2: Iced coffee with a hint of almond and cardamom, with Half and Half poured on top. Distinctive and divine. This could become addictive. The coffee flavor is subdued, so those who do not like traditional coffee may enjoy this coffee.
Extras: The incredibly skilled and highly methodical Yang Sloop cooks, cleans, takes orders and handles the cash register all by herself in the tiny diner with only 16 bar stools. Do NOT expect your food in a jiffy. Do, however, expect it to taste wonderfully good.
It’s an intimate dining experience. The kitchen’s only a few feet away. We enjoyed sitting beneath a mobile of red Thai peppers and sipping our specialty drinks while watching Sloop put great care into each motion, from forming the hamburger patties to slicing tomatoes to sautéing chicken in squid sauce.
Her appliances are simple: a small grill, deep fryer, toaster, microwave, rice steamer, coffee maker and blender.
Sloop strives for perfection. While the petite lady is creating a culinary experience just for you, sit back and take everything in — the spices on the shelves, the bright green countertop, the photos of Sloop’s family on the mid-century refrigerator, the smells, the sounds.
We were mesmerized by Sloop’s performance artistry, which included some sort of sleight of hand. While we were watching her every move, our spring roll appeared on the counter, as if it materialized out of thin air. Sloop just looked at us and smiled. We called it pure magic.
The info: White Lotus, 327 E. 3rd St., Dayton; (937) 222-7030.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Michelle Fong and Connie Post are two of the Dayton Daily News’ Dining Divas. They are culinary thrillseekers who search out interesting eateries to save you time and money. Where should they go next? They welcome your suggestions at email@example.com.