As this coronavirus crisis continues, we continue to support our local restaurant industry any way we can, including by ordering takeout.
Over in the East End just off Harrisburg sits a takeout spot you’ll want to get to know asap, the sizzling new Thai concept Street to Kitchen. It comes from Thai native and chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter — whose prior work in the kitchens at SaltAir and Theodore Rex put her name on the culinary map — and her husband Graham; and though it’s only had about two-plus months under its belt and it opened in the middle of a pandemic, it has quickly garnered fans across the city.
Consider this writer one of them. I’d been following its Instagram account and it was already on my hit list before I realized I needed to get out of my Friday night pizza or ramen rut (don’t worry Romano’s and Ramen Tatsu-Ya, I’ll be back). So on a recent, rainy Friday, my husband and I finally decided to check it out.
You can pick up chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter’s real deal Thai eats straight from the drive-through window.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
The restaurant’s operations are currently takeout and delivery only (with plans to open a dining space in the future), so you can order online and pick up the goods through a drive-through window or get delivery via UberEats and DoorDash. Note: if you order via the DoorDash delivery directly through Street to Kitchen’s website and not from the app itself, it helps the restaurant avoid the large commissions typically charged by delivery services.
We ordered delivery, and around an hour later the eats arrived well packed and still hot. Veggie spring rolls ($5 for four), teeny numbers packed with cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and glass noodles, miraculously managed to stay crisp on the ride over.
And the pad Thai ($14.99), ooooph this pad Thai...it is easily my favorite in Houston. Here, it’s made with plump Gulf shrimp (not chicken, though a vegetarian version is available), with toothsome rice noodles, a banging scratchmade sauce that rocks a hint of sweetness, what feels like more than your fair share of egg, and little side cups of ground peanuts and dried chiles so you can top and spice as you please.
We also tacked on two orders of Street to Kitchen’s soon-to-be claim to fame, its Thai-style fried chicken ($7.49 for a two piece box), available by the two- or three-piece box and served with fragrant spiced rice and either spicy Thai chili cilantro or sweet chili sauce. That cilantro sauce packed a nice heat and brightness to cut through the fat of the deeply crunchy, beautifully seasoned fried bird.
Turns out I ordered way too much for two people and a toddler, as each two-piece box of chicken rocked a seriously colossal breast and chunky thigh, and the portions of rice and noodles were a nice size.
To be honest I think I plan